Trump Denies Telling Comey to Drop Flynn Investigation

Elias Hubbard
May 20, 2017

A number of Democrats have begun floating the idea of impeaching Trump in the wake of revelations that he asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

At his first news conference since April 12, standing alongside visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump denied there had been any collusion between himself, his campaign and Russian agents of influence.

Robert Mueller, a former FBI director highly respected by both parties, was named special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into what is becoming a hydra-like scandal absorbing increasing amounts of legislative time and energy.

In tweets early Thursday morning, Trump argued he was being unfairly singled out for investigation, calling Mueller's appointment "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history".

He said that he thinks the appointment of a special counsel "divides the country".

"There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself and the Russians, zero". Mr. Flynn allegedly told friends last month he was still in contact with Mr. Trump, who urged him to "stay strong" in the face of the investigation, according to a report Thursday from Yahoo News. He went on to sharply criticize the investigation into his campaign's possible collusion with Russian officials to influence the USA election. The trip is seen by some analysts as a chance for Trump to hit reset after more than a week of intense controversy in Washington in the wake of the Comey firing.

Questions surrounding alleged ties to Russian Federation have dogged Mr Trump since before his election.

In another Twitter post Thursday, Trump said: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!" Observers also note that the White House routinely shared intel with other countries. "I hope that we don't inadvertently trip up or damage the independent investigation of the special counsel", he said.

Trump has reacted furiously to the appointment.

The comments were read to the Times by an American official and were from a White House document summarizing the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

Spicer has taken to offering only short responses to questions or dodging entirely, as he has done repeatedly under pressure from the press corps to elaborate on whether Trump has "tapes" of private conversations with Comey, as the president has insinuated.

The Post's February 9 report that national security adviser Michael Flynn, contrary to the Trump administration's claims, talked with the Russian ambassador about US sanctions before Trump took office.

The news that Rosenstein knew about Comey's firing before he wrote the memo could make the deputy attorney general a witness in Mueller's investigation, the Times noted. He said Washington needs to get back to issues like creating jobs, health care - saying "we don't have health care in this country" - and his broad outline of a tax cut plan, which he promised would, if passed, be the "biggest tax cut in the history of our nation". "I don't think (Rosenstein) did a lot to bolster our confidence in him today". Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Rosenstein would be questioned about a letter he wrote accusing Comey of missteps as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, including his handling of an election-year probe into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he is supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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