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Trump slams Comey, once more dismisses Russia probe as "witch hunt"

Trump slams Comey, once more dismisses Russia probe as

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named as the special prosecutor into ties that members of Trump's campaign allegedly had with members of the Russian government.

Trump deployed his characteristic social media bombast to take his unvarnished response directly to voters, elaborating on the staid written statement issued the night before that denied any collusion with Kremlin-linked officials. In addition to complaining he was being abused in unprecedented ways, he took aim anew at his presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, saying she never faced a special counsel despite "all the illegal acts that took place" in her campaign. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history".

With the 2018 Congressional mid-term elections fast approaching, maybe of Trump's erstwhile allies face a hard campaign dominated by questions about the president's conduct and with few legislative victories to fall back on.

Rosenstein is the top official at the Justice Department responsible for overseeing the investigation after Jeff Sessions, Trump's attorney general, recused himself from the Russian Federation probe.

Trump's terse denial followed reports by Reuters and other media about a memo written by Comey alleging that Trump made the request to close down the investigation into Michael Flynn and Russian Federation in February.

As calls from lawmakers and the public for an independent investigation have surged in recent months, the terms special counsel, special prosecutor, and independent counsel have been thrown interchangeably. The House and Senate intelligence committees are working on aspects of all that, and those must continue.But a full accounting is likely to emerge only if Congress appoints a special commission like the one that investigated the 9/11 attacks. And his firing by Trump last week is what prompted the appointment of Mueller.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director Jim Comey before he sat down to write a memo criticizing Comey's conduct.

In some ways, his appointment could relieve pressure on the Trump White House.

The decision comes amid mounting concerns about Trump's potential attempts to interfere in the investigation, including the sacking of former FBI Director James Comey last week.

Mueller is highly regarded in Washington circles - among both Democrats and Republicans - as one of the nation's most credible law enforcement officials.

In 2011, he was asked by Democratic President Barack Obama for two more years.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that Trump called Comey weeks after he took office on January 20 and asked him when federal authorities were going to say Trump was not under investigation. Several congressional Republicans said Wednesday that if Trump did suggest that Comey "let this go" regarding Flynn's Russian contacts, it was probably just a joke, light banter.

On a day of fast-moving developments, the House intelligence committee announced that it, too, had asked for documents, in this case from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department.

Trump is preparing to leave town Friday on his first foreign trip, and aides have been hopeful the journey will be a chance for the administration to get back on track after weeks of chaos and distractions.