Ex-FBI chief Comey to testify in US Congress

Law enforcement officials now consider a senior Trump adviser a "person of interest" in the probe, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

To the editor: In the Oval Office on February 14, Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to be his special valentine and shut down the investigation of his BFF, the recently fired national security advisor Michael Flynn.

A Washington Post investigation revealed someone close to President Trump could be called into hearings as swirling controversy threatens to derail the Republican firebrand's political ambitions. Trump said as recently as Thursday that he acted on a "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein, but Rosenstein made it clear to Congress that he drafted his memo only after Trump told him of his plans to dismiss the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

On Thursday, the Justice Department said a special counsel had been appointed to look into allegations of Russian interference in last year's election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.

At the start of another roller-coaster week in Washington, Trump was accused of divulging highly sensitive classified information gleaned by Israeli spies to visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. They also said that did not mean any criminal charges were near.

"No. No. next question", Trump said when asked during a joint news conference with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos if he had, in any way, tried to influence the probe.

Democratic lawmakers for weeks have been calling for the appointment of an independent prosecutor to head the investigation, particularly since Mr. Trump abruptly fired former FBI chief James Comey last week in the middle of the agency's probe into Russia's involvement in the USA elections and the Kremlin's links with the mogul's presidential campaign.

Combative and complaining, Trump fell short Thursday in trying to resolve investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

And Sen. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, said, "Sorry for yelling guys".

Russian Federation has denied U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that it interfered in the election campaign to try to tilt the vote in Mr Trump's favour.

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.

USA stocks recovered ground on Thursday as upbeat economic data emboldened investors to return to the market, a day after Wall Street saw the biggest selloff in eight months on worries the political turmoil could undermine Trump initiatives such as tax cuts that investors see as favoring economic growth.

Unlike Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed by a three-judge panel to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's real estate holdings in the 1990s, Mueller depends on the Justice Department for funding and he reports to Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump.

Rosenstein briefed senators on Thursday but made no public comments.

"This was a five-alarm fire from early on.The way the Russians were talking about him", an official of the previous Obama administration said.

Top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said in a statement: "Director Comey served his country with honour for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story".

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