Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump denies asking Comey to shelf Flynn probe

Trump denies asking Comey to shelf Flynn probe

Speaking during a joint press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos, Mr. Trump described the investigation as "a total witch hunt" and went on to add "I think it divides the country, and I think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things".

He pointed to a number of areas the USA and Colombia are working together to fight the global drug trade and said that they had agreed to double down on that commitment in the meeting at the White House.

-Colombian free trade agreement was working well, despite Colombia running a trade deficit with the United States.

Trump also said he was close to selecting a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director to replace James Comey, who he fired last week, and that former senator and one-time Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman was among the top candidates.

Mr. Trump lashed out in the morning on Twitter at the news that the Justice Department appointed a special prosecutor, former FBI director Robert Mueller, to oversee the investigation, calling the move a politically motivated "witch hunt" by his Democratic rivals.

Mr. Trump sent Comey a letter last week abruptly firing him.

A budgetary commitment from the White House to renewing the multimillion-dollar package, however, remains in doubt.

Trump met with Lieberman at the White House on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Fresh questions over Flynn add to White House turmoil
As recently as November, Flynn had done work that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey". A few days later, Flynn had a breakfast meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, who went on to attend the inauguration.

With Santos leading the way, many Latin American countries have rejected the US' approach to drug trafficking and have urged to rethink the apparently failing policy that has already cost thousands of lives in Latin America.

The timing of Mr. Santos' visit caps a tumultuous week for the Trump administration, which has been reeling from damaging reports that the President pressured former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into his former National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn.

"As a member of the Senate committee that appropriates foreign assistance, I believe the United States should continue to support Colombia's efforts to combat terrorism and narcotics, and secure and stabilize the country", Rubio wrote in a Miami Herald op-ed.

"I thought it [Comey firing] would be a bipartisan decision", Trump said, citing Democrats who had called for his ousting.

The House Intelligence Committee requested more documents from the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation related to its Russia probe and announced that former CIA Director John Brennan would testify in public before the panel on Tuesday to answer questions about Russian involvement in the election.

His speech revered the great work President Trump and his administration had done thus far, bringing attention to, in particular, the lifting of regulations and mandates that supposedly were restricting the economic potential of the United States.

"There's nothing tougher than peace", Trump said, "and we want to make peace all over the world". He didn't answer directly - as Trump pointed out.

Santos avoided discussing the wall directly and instead pointed to areas where the US and Colombia were working together. "Believe me, there's no collusion", he said. ".Director Comey was very unpopular with most people".

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