Controversial US President Donald Trump has decried a “witch hunt” against him and has also denied that he asked former FBI director James Comey to drop a probe against his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
His comments are coming following a memo written by Comey alleging that Trump made the request to close down the investigation into communication between Flynn and Russia in February.
“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.
His comments are coming a day after the US Justice Department appointed longtime FBI Director Robert Mueller, as the lead investigator into alleged Russian ties to Trump campaign.
Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and he is a widely-respected figure who headed the FBI for the decade after the September 11, 2001, attacks – to take over the FBI’s probe on Wednesday of “Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters”.
“Based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command,” Rosenstein said in a statement.
Trump faces accusations of seeking to stall the politically explosive probe following his shock dismissal of Comey, and is faced with allegations he asked the former FBI director to drop his investigation of a former aide.
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