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Trump calls Russian Federation probe political 'witch hunt'

Trump calls Russian Federation probe political 'witch hunt'

Scandals enveloping U.S. President Donald Trump have left Republican lawmakers and lobbyists increasingly gloomy about the prospects for passing sweeping tax cuts, a rollback of Obamacare and an ambitious infrastructure program.

The focus now turns to how Mueller will pick up the FBI's investigation of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, and what it means for the White House.

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country", Trump said.

Graham's remarks came after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to the Russian investigation. He did not provide examples or evidence of any "illegal acts".

Earlier Thursday, Trump tweeted that "this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Speaking from the East Room of the White House Thursday during a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Santos, President Donald Trump denied asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop the criminal investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar responded, "This is a truth hunt".

U.S. stocks recovered ground on Thursday as upbeat economic data emboldened investors to return to the market, a day after Wall Street saw the biggest selloff in eight months on worries the political turmoil could undermine Trump initiatives such as tax cuts that investors see as favoring economic growth.

"I think the shot to the body is it's now considered a criminal investigation", Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a former military prosecutor, said as he exited the closed-door briefing in the basement of the Capitol. Wittes said Comey was determined to not engage in such an embrace.

Mr. Comey told the president that if he wanted to know details about the bureau's investigations, he should not contact him directly but instead follow the proper procedures and have the White House counsel send any inquires to the Justice Department, according to those people...

According to Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, Rosenstein didn't say exactly when or why he decided a special counsel was necessary.

Democrats and Trump's fellow Republicans widely praised Mueller's appointment. He thought that under those conditions, Trump might not spot him and call him out. But it remains unclear what Trump was referring to or whether Comey actually told him he was not being probed. "I look forward to this matter concluding quickly".

Despite initially opposing appointment of an independent counsel, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the development "helps assure people and the Justice Department that they're going to go do their jobs independently and thoroughly, which is what we've called for all along".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that "less drama from the White House" was needed to advance legislative priorities.

A key adviser to Trump during the presidential campaign, Flynn dismissed not long after the inauguration when it became known that he had had Russian contacts and had misled the Trump team about them. He was sacked as national security adviser in February after it emerged he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about conversations with Russia's ambassador to Washington in December.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is mocking USA news reports suggesting President Donald Trump shared sensitive intelligence with him about terror threats involving laptops on airplanes.