US President Donald Trump lashed out at the appointment of a special counsel to investigate accusations that his campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the 2016 US election, tweeting this morning that it is "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"
House members and senators said Rosenstein in his briefings steered clear of specifics in answering questions about his appointment of Mueller but made clear the former FBI director, will have wide latitude to pursue the investigation, potentially including criminal charges. Comey apparently kept memos of his interactions with top officials and he reportedly wrote that during a conversation with Trump in February, the president said of the Flynn investigation, "I hope you can let this go." .
Trump's Twitter tirade comes as Reuters reports Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump's campaign were, indeed, in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race.
Rosenstein may have blunted some of the criticism of his actions in the past week with his announcement Wednesday that he had appointed a special counsel.
Trump and his team planned the trip as an opportunity for the U.S. president to unify Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders against extremism, a senior administration official said.
Later reports also referred to Trump allegedly asking Comey in February to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, over contacts he had had with Russian Federation.
The president then claimed to be part of the "single greatest witch hunt" in his country's political history.
He also misspelled "counsel" as "councel".
Another Democratic senator, Dick Durbin, said he had confidence that Mueller, who is widely respected among USA lawmakers, will follow the facts where they lead.
"We'll get rid of the smoke and see where the actual issues lie", said Senator Tim Scott.
"I do think that the special prosecutor provides a sense of calm and confidence perhaps for the American people, which is incredibly important".
Matthew Miller, who served as the DOJ's Director of the Office of Public Affairs under former Attorney General Eric Holder, suggested that Comey may have been building an obstruction of justice case against the president, in an interview with the Washington Post.
He offered new justifications for his decision Thursday, even while referring to the Rosenstein memo as "a very, very strong recommendation".
"That was a poor, poor performance", Trump said.
"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people", he said Thursday at a news conference.
Trump is responding to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead a probe of allegations that Trump's campaign collaborated with Russian Federation to sway the election.
When asked about the Justice Department appointing Mueller as Special Counsel, the President deflected the question.
The developments were a blow to White House efforts to tamp down interest in the Russian Federation investigation as Trump and his staff boarded Air Force One for Saudi Arabia, first stop on his first foreign trip as president.
"I believe that's why we're having this investigation - to find out if in fact there was collusion".