Mr Trump has been under fire since news emerged this week that he had shared secrets with the Russians and allegedly tried to stop former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey from investigating his former adviser Michael Flynn.
At his first news conference since April 12, standing alongside visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump denied there had been any collusion between himself, his campaign and Russian agents of influence.
After the Comey memo, which detailed Trump's attempts at securing the FBI director's loyalty and commitment to lay off in the investigation into then-National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, the feeling was that Trump's actions were minimally unbecoming of a president, but the public discussion quickly turned to what, exactly, is the definition of obstruction of justice.
"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"
"We have a very divided country because of that and many other things", Trump said.
The Post's March 28 report that the Trump administration tried to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying on the Trump campaign's possible Russian Federation ties.
Asked whether he urged Comey to ease up on the Flynn investigation, Trump said at a news conference, "No, no", before ordering the media to move on to the "next question". However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters after the briefing that "everything he (Rosenstein) said was that you need to treat this investigation as if it may be a criminal investigation". It later emerged that Comey made note of Trump's request in a memo that was saved.
Flynn's contacts with Russians during the presidential campaign, as well as his work for the Turkish government, are under investigation. "The FBI has not had that special reputation with what happened in the campaign, what happened with respect to the Clinton campaign, and even you could say directly or indirectly with respect to the much more successful Trump campaign", he said.
Trump provoked the extraordinary work of reporters on the intelligence, justice and national security beats, who blew wide open the Russian Federation election scandal, the contacts between Russian Federation and top Trump officials, and interference by Trump in the FBI investigation.
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In announcing the appointment of a special counsel, Mr Rosenstein cited the "unusual circumstances" of the ongoing FBI Russia investigation.
The Russia story has plagued Trump's White House for months.
"I hate to see anything that divides". "We want to bring this country together".
"I just fired the head of the FBI", Trump said.
Trump's comments came as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel, went to Capitol Hill to brief the entire Senate behind closed doors.
While briefly addressing one question about the Russian Federation matter, Trump said the entire situation "divides" the United States.
In closed-door meetings with lawmakers on Thursday and Friday, Rosenstein said he wrote the memo after Trump told him one day before the May 9 firing that he wanted to dismiss Comey. "When I made that decision, I actually thought it would be a bipartisan decision". "It feels like everything is up in the air, everything is chaotic, and there's some lack of leadership coming from the White House".
"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".
Besieged by controversy at home, U.S. President Donald Trump is under pressure to stick to the script and avoid fresh flare-ups when he embarks this week on his first foreign trip, a nine-day trek to the Middle East and Europe.
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