The press conference is also the president's first public appearance after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be special counsel to investigate any ties between Russian Federation and The Trump campaign. Republicans on Capitol Hill hoped the same, reasoning that the appointment of a special counsel could free them to work on a major tax overhaul and other matters without constant distractions.
Throughout a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump repeated multiple times his claim that there was no collusion between himself and Russian Federation during the campaign.
Asked whether he pressured the FBI to close its investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn - as was reported earlier this week - President Donald Trump flatly said he had not.
US President Donald Trump has denied all allegations that he tried to pressure fired FBI Director James Comey into dropping a Russia-related probe, and called the appointment of a special counsel to probe claims of his collusion with Russian Federation a "witch hunt".
"That's what I want to be focused on, because there's no collusion".
"Were any monumental Republican shift against Trump to transpire, the leading indicator would likely be Trump's approval rating among Republican voters", the article said.
Trump said he planed to announce his choice for a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director "soon".
He said he respected the special counsel appointment but also said it "hurts our country terribly". The White House had said Mr. Trump made the decision to fire Comey only after receiving the recommendation from Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.More news: Bush, Obama Lawyers Slam Trump's Possible Meddling In FBI Russia Probe
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Senators said that Rosenstein steered clear of specifics while making clear that Mueller has wide latitude to pursue the investigation wherever it leads, including potentially criminal charges.
"We'll get rid of the smoke and see where the actual issues lie", said Sen.
"That was a poor, poor performance", Trump said.
However, Trump told NBC News last week that he would have fired Comey "regardless" of what the Justice Department said.
He said Comey turned in a "poor performance" in his most recent testimony to Congress and that Rosenstein had written a "very strong letter" outlining Comey's shortcomings.
"Depends on what kind of secrets you pass on to me", Lavrov responded.
The FBI's reputation, he said, had been damaged during the presidential campaign, given "what happened with respect to the Clinton campaign".