Ousted Trump National Security Adviser at Center of Russia Probe

Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and former local prosecutor.

US President Donald Trump has lashed out at the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee the inquiry into Russian influence on his election.

Calls for a special investigation mounted after Mr Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week.

Rosenstein did not notify White House Counsel Donald McGahn of Mueller’s appointment until Justice Department officials were already briefing reporters, the Post notes.

Flynn’s contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign, as well as his work for the Turkish government, are under investigation.

The House Intelligence Committee, of which he is the most senior Democratic member, yesterday requested more documents from the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to its ongoing Russian Federation probe. One of the attendees, speaking on condition of anonymity, described Rosenstein as anxious and nervous and said he drank multiple glasses of water “and spilled one”.

The surprise announcement to hand the probe over to Mueller, a lawman with deep bipartisan respect, was a striking shift for Trump’s Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly loud calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.

“We look forward to getting this whole situation behind us”, he said, vowing to focus his administration’s resources instead on creating jobs, strengthening the military and reforming health care.

During a speech at the Coast Guard Academy commencement Wednesday, an aggrieved Trump aired his mounting frustrations, declaring that “no politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly”.

Some senators were frustrated at the briefing because Rosenstein did not want to answer all their questions, Durbin said. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.

In his statement announcing Mr Mueller’s appointment, Mr Rosenstein said: “The public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command”.

“You’re pretty well knocked out of the game”, he said about the ongoing high-profile congressional probes, “and that’s probably the way it should be”. While technically Mr. Rosenstein could fire Mr. Mueller if he goes too far, the manner of his appointment and the subject he’s investigating make him de facto untouchable even if he becomes an abusive Javert like Patrick Fitzgerald during the George W. Bush Administration.

Based on information from Comey’s memos and testimony from others close to him, it seems impossible for anyone – including the White House – to deny that Comey often felt uncomfortable with how Trump approached their relationship.

“I don’t think there’s a way out”, said Robert Jervis, an expert in national security policy at Columbia University. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said of Rosenstein after the hearing.

Some have voiced hope that the appointment of a special counsel might even be a positive thing for the White House, because it could bring a resolution to a controversy that has hampered the president and stalled his agenda virtually since the day he took office.

“The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it”, he said, insisting “the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations”.

Ivanka Trump and Kushner, along with Trump’s policy adviser, Stephen Miller, a former aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, were in the small cluster of aides with Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, during the May 5 weekend when he talked in earnest about firing Comey, according to two people briefed on the discussions.

“I think one of the reasons people get so concerned about the tweets is it’s sort of a way around the press”, Cheney explained.