Donald Trump told Michael Flynn to "stay strong" amid growing scandal

Mueller, 72, was replaced by James Comey, who Trump fired earlier this month while the former FBI director was continuing his Russian Federation investigation.

Asked if he had confidence in the president as he left the press conference, the House Speaker said "I do".

Had Comey considered Trump's actions to be improper attempts to politically interfere with his probe of Michael Flynn, then not only would he have been duty bound to report it at that time to Congress, but he would also have had to answer Hirono's direct question in the affirmative.

Trump strongly disagreed. The appointment, he said in a briefing with news anchors, "hurts our country terribly".

What's the difference between a special counsel and a special prosecutor or an independent counsel? A more suitable approach would have been an independent commission, like the one established to investigate the September 11 attacks.

"We still need to get whatever documents that Comey may have or that [Acting FBI Director Andrew] McCabe now has, obviously they were FBI documents", Lankford said. "He is respected, he is talented, and he has the knowledge and ability to do the right thing".

The Republican and Democrats leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a joint statement overnight that the appointment is "a positive development and will provide some certainty for the American people that the investigation will proceed fairly and free of political influence". Painter says that the final decision as to whether Mueller can proceed with his appointment lies with ethics officials within the Justice Department, and that he himself, "would support them using that authority". Can the FBI conduct an investigation independent from the department of Justice. Mueller is a dedicated public servant, and for many, the only surprise is how he came back to government service, not that he came back at all.

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.

And Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who would later say he didn't see any evidence of a crime for Mueller to investigate in the first place, thought the choice of Mueller to lead it was a good one.

As the showdown with Bush was going on, Comey, riding with Mueller to the White House, reflected on the impending fight that could be bearing down on the men. Mueller has a wide investigative brief, and we will no doubt be hearing more about Messrs.

In the statement as released by the White House, Trump said, "a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity".

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

That was on Wednesday night.

"Asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the reported intelligence-sharing, he said media have reported that "the secret" Trump told him was that "'terrorists' are capable of stuffing laptops, all kinds of electronic devices, with untraceable explosive materials".

With the 2018 Congressional mid-term elections fast approaching, maybe of Trump's erstwhile allies face a hard campaign dominated by questions about the president's conduct and with few legislative victories to fall back on.

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