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Trump reportedly asked Comey to consider imprisoning members of the press

19 May 2017

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan cautioned against "rushing to judgment".

"But if you're trying to build an obstruction-of-justice case, you might want the president to keep talking, because everything he does is digging a deeper legal hole for himself". Trump wrote, misspelling the word counsel as he referred to Democratic former President Barack Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In February, a day after ousting Flynn, reportedly for misleading the vice president about previous contacts with the Russian ambassador, Trump asked Comey to go easy on Flynn, according to news reports citing a Comey memo on the meeting.

It also may give Trump's White House some relief from the barrage of questions from the media as Mueller takes the lead in an investigation that will mostly take place out of the public eye for now.

Trump also boasted of what he saw as the "tremendous success" of his presidency.

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller after a succession of jarring developments that brought questions over Russia's alleged meddling in the election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign to a boil.

The former officials, both now in private practice, had been invited to speak at a panel on presidential power hosted by The Federalist Society, a conservative group that was key in helping Trump select and install Justice Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republicans and Democrats alike were eager to hear from Comey, who has increasingly emerged as a central figure in the unfolding drama.

He said Comey turned in a "poor performance" in his most recent testimony to Congress and that Rosenstein had written a "very strong letter" outlining Comey's shortcomings.

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Striking a defiant stance, he added: "You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams".

He later reiterated: "There was no collusion, and everybody - even my enemies have said, there is no collusion".

John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said late Tuesday that the developments had reached "Watergate size and scale".

The person who described the Comey memo to the AP was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. "It feels like everything is up in the air, everything is chaotic, and there's some lack of leadership coming from the White House". "We are talking about a president who fired the Federal Bureau of Investigation director who was investigating the president for his connections to Russian involvement in the president's election", Green said on the House floor.

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Trump will carry that baggage on his first overseas trip as president.