"No. No. Next question", Trump told a news conference in the White House, when asked if he "in any way, shape or form" ever urged Comey to end the probe.
"Oh and there's Jim", Trump said.
While Trump questioned the legitimacy of the investigation, it has thrown the administration off track and consumed its political capital.
On the subject of the allegations - started in July 2016 by the Hillary Clinton campaign and embraced by Democrats and some of the media since her surprise defeat in November - that he and his campaign colluded with Russia, Trump said that "the entire thing has been a witch hunt".
Wittes added that Comey was uncomfortable with the president's attempts to build a personal relationship, which he considered to be inappropriate.
The Department of Justice finally bowed to Democratic demands this week and named former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to the Russian probe. When Trump spotted Comey anyway, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director extended his hand so that they would only have a handshake, but the president pulled him in for a hug anyway. Trump fired Comey last week.
Rosenstein appointed Mueller in an order giving him broad authority to pursue the investigation into Russian meddling, including "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump".
Eagles give running back LeGarrette Blount 1-year deal
Of course, Blount probably won't be under pressure to produce the kind of numbers he put up a year ago for the Patriots. So while everyone would have been happy to see Blount return, the team found a way to upgrade the position for 2017.
Donald Trump has responded with a direct - if brief - "No".
As the White House received the news Wednesday evening that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had chosen a special counsel, they issued a statement attributed to the president.
Comey reportedly wrote in a memo about a meeting with Trump that the president said to Comey of the Flynn investigation, "I hope you can let this go". "I think it divides the country, I think we have a very divided country because of that many other things". The Mueller appointment will, at least temporarily, relieve some of the pressure on congressional Republicans who've publicly complained that the constant drama and serial controversies at the White House were hindering their ability to work on their policy agenda.
Before Comey shook Trump's hand in the White House's Blue Room in footage that has been played often since his ousting, the senior intelligence officer had tried to blend in with the curtains to escape Trump's "inappropriate" behaviour. Trump later said he had already made a decision to dismiss him and was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing".
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.
A key issue Mueller may have to tackle is whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice, an offence that could be used in any effort in Congress to impeach him and remove him from office. "I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead".
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