Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is leading the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said Rosenstein did confirm the Department of Justice did not seek the approval of the White House when selecting Mueller to take over the investigation but remained mum on the details as to why Comey was sacked.
"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"
"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama administration, there was never a special counsel appointed" he said, having misspelled counsel in a previous tweet which was quickly deleted. He did not provide examples or evidence of any alleged "illegal acts". Mueller has been appointed special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He offered to furnish a "record" of the Trump-diplomats meeting in the Oval Office if the White House desired it. Some believe that could lead to meddling by the Trump administration. "You have two Senate committees that are looking into this".
Trump tweeted Thursday that the special prosecutor appointment was a "witch hunt" that would divide and hurt the country.
The surprise announcement to hand the probe over to Mueller, a lawman with deep bipartisan respect, was a striking shift for Trump's Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly loud calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.
Attacking him could alienate Republican leaders in Washington and elsewhere.
The more Trump displays his impulsive and angry side, the harder it may be to rally that support.
"Believe me, there's no collusion", Trump said. And certainly in the short term, the investigation is going to continue to be an impediment to Trump's agenda. The president again raised that memo in a news conference just minutes after Durbin and McCaskill made their revelations.More news: Changing EU treaty 'not taboo' for France anymore - Macron after meeting Merkel
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In the memo, Rosenstein wrote that the FBI director had violated long-standing Justice Department practices in his handling of the bureau's investigation of Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
The selection of Mueller, a taciturn former federal prosecutor who led the FBI through the September 11 attacks, received bipartisan embrace. In an interview days after firing Comey, Trump said that he was thinking of the Russian Federation probe as he made a decision to do it.
Earlier, Mr Trump had taken to twitter to vent his frustration at the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into Russian Federation. Facing persistent questions from Democratic senators at his confirmation hearing, Rosenstein would not commit to an appointment, saying all investigations conducted by the Justice Department are by definition "independent investigations".
But Trump's problems do not end on the home front. He will also face potential skepticism from allies he meets on his trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Belgium and Italy. "You've got the talking heads pontificating about someone I know well, when they don't know him at all and they don't have all the facts". Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.
The language reveals much about how Trump and his backers are explaining the seemingly never-ending blitz of bad news rocking the White House.
On Tuesday, Trump repeatedly mispronounced the name of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Erdogan stood beside him. He also appeared bored or distracted when Erdogan spoke, coming to life when the Turkish president injected some fulsome praise for Trump and his election victory.
Thursday's meeting was proposed by Schumer last week after Trump fired Comey.
Presidents usually sit through "pre-trip briefings galore" before foreign visits, said Michael Allen, who was an advisor to President George W. Bush. But Graham emphasized "the takeaway I have is that everything he said was that you need to treat this investigation as though it may be a criminal investigation".
Apart from numerous, entirely anonymously sourced news reports in the mainstream media, the evidence of any kind of misconduct by Trump is shockingly thin. "Trump will eat of lot of that up".