Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Trump claims 'witch hunt' as special counsel takes lead

By several senators' accounts, he contradicted Trump's statements that Rosenstein's written criticism of FBI Director James Comey had been a factor in Comey's recent firing by the president.

In his earlier twitter posts, Trump decried the naming of Robert Mueller, a respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, as a special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, an official he himself appointed.

"The special prosecutor will do his job and we'll see where it goes", he said. Tim Scott, R-S.C. "I do think that the special prosecutor provides a sense of calm and confidence perhaps for the American people, which is incredibly important".

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

"We are living a very big moment right now", he said.

Comey's dismissal last week set off a series of jarring developments that culminated on Wednesday in the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to probe possible ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday appointed Mueller as special counsel.

Once again, Trump's tweets on Thursday saw him stake out a radical departure from the official White House line on an important issue, a habit that has repeatedly undermined his press operation in recent days, and made it even more hard for his administration to move on from a string of self-imposed crises.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history", he added.

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But that clearly dissipated by Thursday morning.

Though the Mueller appointment has obviously raised the legal and political stakes Trump takes, it is widely thought the president is unlikely to be impeached over the current political turmoil.

Mueller was appointed FBI Director by President George W. Bush in 2001 and served until 2013, when Comey took over as head.

"Congress' ability to conduct investigations of all things Russian Federation has been severely limited, probably in an appropriate fashion", the South Carolina Republican said, as a result of Mueller's appointment.

Originally, the Trump White House claimed that Comey was sacked based on a recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Sen. "Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on the Senate floor.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan said the appointment was consistent with his goal of ensuring that "thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead".

Cooper, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has also sent a letter calling for an immediate investigation into Trump's alleged intelligence leaks.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Judiciary Committee Democrat, said there was "no better person who could be asked to perform this function".

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. "I hope that we don't inadvertently trip up or damage the independent investigation of the special counsel", he said. But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Mr Trump fired Mr Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Mr Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Mr Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

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