Donald Trump says he fired James Comey because he was 'unpopular'

Donald Trump says he fired James Comey because he was 'unpopular'

During the press conference Thursday afternoon, Trump also categorically denied media reports he asked former FBI Director James Comey to shut down an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, whose business ties to Russian Federation have come under close scrutiny since Trump fired Flynn only weeks into his administration.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a critic of Trump's inside the GOP, said the Rosenstein briefing led him to believe the nature of the Russian Federation investigation had changed, from one examining how far Russian Federation had meddled in the election to whether any USA citizens were part of the effort.

"I believe that's why the deputy attorney general went out and wrote his very, very strong letter", Trump said. The investigation is now in the hands of a special counsel, as well as multiple Congressional committees. "Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on the Senate floor.

Trump's tweets signal his White House - or at least the man in charge - will try to resist Mueller's investigation, meaning the shadow of that probe will now hang over a White House in need of a morale boost. Warner of Virginia said Comey's testimony should come "sooner rather than later". One part of the Senate SCIF is large enough to hold all 100 senators, a senior aide said.

President Donald Trump lashed out again Thursday at the ongoing inquiries into his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, counteracting an earlier, more measured response from the White House.

"Honor that decision, cooperate where it is appropriate, fight back where you have the legal ability to do so", Graham said.

But Trump, after issuing a measured statement when the news first broke yesterday, allowed his resentment to burst forth overnight in angry morning tweets. Mueller served as Federal Bureau of Investigation director for 12 years until Comey succeeded him in 2013.

Former FBI director Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel has been welcomed by politicians from both sides.

"That was a consistent statement of his throughout", Murphy said. When House Democratic leaders hastily called the news conference to demonstrate their outrage at President Donald Trump's latest dramatics, they took great pains to show they were not seeking to railroad him out of the White House.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., however, told reporters, after Rosenstein briefed the full Senate Thursday afternoon, that the deputy attorney general said he knew Comey would be dismissed by Trump before writing the memo that the White House released when it announced the firing.

Trump also changed his story once again about the circumstances surrounding Comey's firing, returning again to the White House's original rationale that he based his decision on Rosenstein's recommendation. But Senator John Cornyn of Texas said Mueller is perhaps the single most-qualified person to get the facts for the American people.

"I think so", said Harris, a former prosecutor.