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Trump's Clear Intent To Influence Russian Investigation — CNN's Chris Cuomo

19 May 2017

Graham's remarks came shortly after the Senate met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel on the Russian Federation investigation Wednesday.

A House Republican aide said Wednesday that House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin invited Rosenstein to brief all House members on the investigation Friday morning. And during a lunch with reporters, he said the special counsel appointment is bad for the country.

"He did acknowledge that he knew Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo", Sen.

The President's comment may also conflict with a sound legal strategy, given that he could eventually be called upon to testify to Mueller's probe.

However another answer on that subject seemed both more specific and perhaps ambiguous.

The White House released a statement from Trump after the appointment was made, which said the probe would find there was no collusion between his campaign and a foreign entity. The American people deserve to know the full extent of the connections between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, and any efforts by the President to obstruct investigations into such ties.

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While the investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee will continue, several lawmakers said the panel's role may be reduced with the appointment of a special counsel.

Asked about the appointment at a lunch with television network anchors, the president said, "I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country". But when I made that decision, I actually thought that it would be a bipartisan decision.

Trump claimed that the report on Comey's memo was not true. Comey was sacked on May 9.

He offered new justifications for his decision Thursday, even while referring to the Rosenstein memo as "a very, very strong recommendation".

The official announcement of Comey's dismissal cited his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server during her 2009-2013 tenure as Secretary of State.

There was no word on what that record might entail, a question many were likely to raise in light of Trump's recent warning to Comey that he had "better hope" there were no tapes of a discussion they'd had.

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"Director Mueller is a career public servant who has shown integrity and commitment to upholding the law, without political agenda", said Sen.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Thursday that the agency will conduct a background investigation and detailed review of conflict-of-interest issues, a process outlined in the regulation governing special counsels under which he was appointed.

Faso, R-Kinderhook, who represents New York's 19th Congressional District, said Thursday that the Justice Department's selection of Mueller, a former FBI director, ensures a credible investigation.

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.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he was supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

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