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Putin rushes to Trump's defense

The Republican billionaire's administration, now just barely four months old, was left reeling by the one-two punch, which sparked instant outrage from Democrats demanding a full explanation.

Trump's terse denial followed reports by Reuters and other media about a memo written by Comey alleging that Trump made the request to close down the investigation into Michael Flynn and Russian Federation in February. Trump said as recently as Thursday that he acted on a "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein, but Rosenstein made it clear to Congress that he drafted his memo only after Trump told him of his plans to dismiss the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

In closed-door meetings with lawmakers on Thursday and Friday, Rosenstein said he wrote the memo after President Donald Trump told him one day before the May 9 firing that he wanted to dismiss Comey.

In a statement, Richmond called Trump's conversation with Comey "outrageous" and said the request to drop an investigation "qualifies as obstruction of justice".

"He is a good guy".

The past week has seen extraordinary political turmoil in Washington, as President Donald Trump faces grave accusations that he has obstructed justice.

Comey's memo, an apparent effort to create a paper trail of his contacts with the White House, would be the clearest evidence to date that the president has tried to influence the investigation. The weird part of this is not that Trump believes it-of course he does-but that plenty of other folks in the White House seem to believe it too.

"I think everyone across this country is going to be a lot better off when we get answers", he said.

"The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations".

For one, he asked Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to leave the room before speaking privately with Comey about Flynn, according to a Comey associate. "T. N. - Impeach Trump Now".

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"Chaos in the White House".

But the president took to Twitter to insist he had the "absolute right" to share "facts pertaining.to terrorism and airline flight safety" with Russian Federation.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Executive Director Noah Bookbinder called Mueller "the right man for the job" in a release, adding, "It is our honest hope that he is able to get to the bottom of this situation - not just the truth about Russia's interference with the 2016 election and any coordination it may have had with the Trump campaign, but also the truth about the president's apparent obstruction of the FBI's Russian Federation investigation".

Sen. Susan Collins of ME, a Senate intelligence committee member, said on CNN's "New Day" she did not support a special prosecutor for the investigation.

"This inquiry by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the ongoing investigations by other bipartisan committees in Congress, must and will continue", Mitchell said.

John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said late Tuesday that the developments had reached "Watergate size and scale". The president's critics say the disclosure could compromise the source of the intelligence provided by a US ally and make other nations wary about sharing sensitive information with the United States. The head of state joked that Lavrov had not shared the secret information either with Putin or with special services.

An administration official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel.

Mr Trump is due to leave on Friday for his first foreign trip - beginning in Saudi Arabia - in what officials had hoped would be a chance to refocus his presidency.

Dr Orr said this latest incident would not be enough to justify the 25th Amendment, but rather it may result from an accumulation of controversial actions by President Trump.

"Everybody, even my enemies, have said there is no collusion", he replied. "He wasn't briefed on the source or method of the information either".

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