“Well I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt“, he said, insisting there had been “no collusion” between his campaign and Russian Federation.
Reporters pressed the Colombian president to comment on Trump’s “America First” policy and the proposed southern border wall, but Santos sidestepped controversy by praising cooperation with the United States in ending the decades-long conflict in his country.
But Trump nearly immediately undermined that explanation in an interview with NBC News, saying, “Regardless of the recommendation I was going to fire Comey”. And Graham said that could impede Congress’s “ability to conduct investigations of all things Russian Federation”.
Moments before Mr Trump weighed in on Twitter, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin welcomed the special counsel investigation and said it was important to get facts in the Russian Federation probe. “And numerous questions he declined to answer came down to his concern of whether he might interfere with the investigation by Robert Mueller”. “I completely disagree. He again usurped the authority of the Department of Justice. and guaranteed that some people would accuse the Federal Bureau of Investigation of interfering in the election”.
He wrote a memo criticizing Comey’s handling of last year’s investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, which White House officials initially cited as the sole rationale for Comey’s ouster. “O$3 ne of the big losers in this decision is the public”, Graham said and added that he anxious lawmakers would have trouble getting responses to subpoenas delivered to potential witnesses or convincing them to testify in a public congressional hearing because they’d be more likely to plead the fifth to avoid incriminating themselves.
During the course of Thursday’s press conference, Trump said he fired Comey based on the recommendation made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. “Mr. Rosenstein has done the right thing”, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said Thursday on the Senate floor.
It was a full flip-flop, going from absolutely “false” to “either confirming or declining to challenge almost every key aspect of the account”, The Washington Post said.
“No”, he said when he was asked about the report during a White House news conference on Thursday.
Trump had said Thursday he was “very close” to naming a replacement and that former Connecticut Sen.
Former FBI director Robert Mueller has been selected to lead the inquiry.
Trump said that Comey “was very unpopular with most people” and said that he was expecting more widespread praise for the firing.
Rosenstein himself has been under fire for his role in Comey’s firing. He called the suggestion he had done anything potentially worthy of criminal charges “totally ridiculous”.
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 U.S. elections and the Kremlin’s links with the mogul’s presidential campaign.
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.
“People have to understand that now that we’ve handed it off to a special counsel that that’s where most of the questions are going to have to be directed”, said Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the third-ranking Republican.