Trump says he did not ask Comey to end investigation

In Washington, the chatter about a deepening, Watergate-style crisis has engulfed the White House - and those conversations are echoed in big cities across the country and in a succession of headlines that seem to suggest nearly certain doom for the young Trump administration. It was only when President George W. Bush agreed to listen to Comey and Mueller and restructure the program did resignation plans go away. I think it divides the country, I think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things.

A New York-born Vietnam war vet, Mr Mueller has a reputation as a tough lawman who once even stood up to a president.

Chaffetz rose to national prominence as a public face of GOP efforts to probe Clinton's activities in advance of the 2016 election.

Mr Trump reacted swiftly, without directly commenting on Mr Mueller's appointment. Subsequent reports by the New York Times revealed that Trump had pressured Comey for loyalty and asked him to curtail the FBI's investigation. "When I made that decision I actually thought it would be a bipartisan decision because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such bad thing about Director Comey".

Capping days of political drama in Washington, Mr Mueller's appointment came as Mr Trump fends off a stunning series of allegations including claims he shared USA secrets with Russian officials in the Oval Office.

Pressure has spiked in Congress for an independent probe into ties between Mr Trump's campaign and Moscow, which U.S. intelligence chiefs accuse of interfering to sway the election in the Republican's favour.

"We need the facts", Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said.

Those are hardly ringing endorsements for what the Justice Department just chose to do.

Comey, who noted the request in a memo, was sacked by Trump on 9 May.

White House officials have disputed the accuracy of a memo Comey wrote describing what was said at the January dinner.

The comments by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings came as Democrats sought to force a House vote to establish an independent commission to investigate Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

Trump has fed the theory that the media is out to get him, saying "no politician in history" has been treated more unfairly.

"Did you at any time urge former FBI director James Comey in any way shape or form to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn?".

On May 9 President Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey, spurring many who had suggested previously that Comey should be fired, to make an about face suggesting that Trump's firing of Comey was further evidence of a Russian Federation conspiracy.

During his tenure as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, from 2001 to 2013, he served both Republican and Democratic administrations, overseeing a shake-up of a huge bureaucracy blamed for missing evidence that could have prevented the September 11, 2001 attacks, and earning high respect from both parties.

In an interview, Mr Chaffetz said he wasn't prejudging the case.

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