Trump Says He's Victim of Witch Hunt, Denies Pressuring FBI Chief

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

Flynn, who failed to disclose that he spoke with Russian Federation regarding sanctions while Obama was still in office, is a key component in multiple investigations into the Trump campaign's relationship with one of the nation's greatest adversaries. He would write everything down from the conversation because the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director wanted to make sure he characterized the conversation accurately.

In the conversations during the campaign, Russian officials emphasized a pragmatic, business-style approach and stressed to Trump associates that they could make deals by focusing on common economic and other interests and leaving contentious issues aside, the sources said. "They're preserved because he presumes someone will want to see them".

He was concerned that Trump's suggestion to end the Flynn probe could be an example of obstruction of justice.

"Everybody, even my enemies, have said there is no collusion", he said. "You're getting a little too close to the flame".

On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel. It was not immediately clear if he shared the memos with any staffers at a lower level.

The President also described Comey as "very unpopular with most people", and said he was surprised that there wasn't bipartisan support for Comey's ouster.

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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.

Now he's tasked with evaluating Comey's accounts and recollections as he tries to play arbitrator in a mushrooming saga that's clouded Trump's nascent presidency.

And earlier in the day, during a private lunch of television anchors at the White House, Trump said he believes the decision to appoint a special counsel "hurts our country terribly" and called it "a pure excuse for the Democrats having lost an election".

"Asked to comment on the controversy surrounding the reported intelligence-sharing, he said media have reported that "the secret" Trump told him was that "'terrorists' are capable of stuffing laptops, all kinds of electronic devices, with untraceable explosive materials".

The men were memorably cast - mostly via Comey's 2007 testimony - as honorable men standing against government overreach when they talked former President George W. Bush out of pushing ahead the renewal of a controversial surveillance program. The two also spoke twice on the phone, according to Trump in an interview with Fox News.

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