19 May, 2017
US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 18, 2017, for a closed-door meeting with Senators a day after appointing former FBI director Robert Mueller to oversee the investigation into possible ties between Russian Federation and US President Donald Trump's campaign.
Trump had earlier released a statement saying he looked forward to the matter being concluded "quickly", following Wednesday's appointment of ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the federal investigation into Russia's alleged election meddling.
This was only one of many interactions with Trump that reports now indicate made Comey uncomfortable.
Rosenstein was due to brief USA senators later on Thursday.
Trump said the investigation has divided the country and distracted from his agenda.
"Director Comey was very unpopular with most people", Trump said.
But Mr Trump said the issue was dividing an already polarised nation.
But Democrats including McCaskill rejected Lieberman as a choice.
Trump hosted a ceremony honouring law enforcement officials two days after the inauguration.
Congressional Probes While Mueller takes over the Justice Department investigation, probes in Congress were proceeding as well.
"Look at all the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, who were saying such bad things about Director Comey".
The House Intelligence Committee requested documents from the Justice Department and FBI about the bureau's investigation and any records related to Comey's dismissal. "No" to a question about whether he had asked the FBI to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser. Flynn is under investigation for his contacts with Russian Federation as well as his work on behalf of Turkey's government while he was a prominent campaign supporter of Trump.
He has become a central figure in the investigations in Congress.
Flynn and other advisers to Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the presidential race, Reuters reported on Thursday. "Zero", Trump said, adding, "My total priority, believe me, is the United States of America".
Stocks rebounded Thursday, with technology and bank shares resuming rallies as data reinforced optimism in the economy.
Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, named Mueller amid mounting pressure in Congress for an independent investigation beyond existing FBI and congressional probes into the Russian Federation issue.
Mueller's broad mandate gives him not only oversight of the Russian Federation probe, but also over "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".
The White House initially said last week that Trump was prompted to fire Comey after reading the Rosenstein letter.
The deputy attorney general notified the White House of his decision to name a special counsel only after he signed the order designating Mueller for the job.
"No, no, next question", Trump said when asked by a reporter at a news conference Thursday with Colombia's president, Juan Manual Santos.
Trump is leaving Friday for his first foreign trip, to the Mideast and beyond, and aides had hoped the disarray at home would have been calmed if not resolved by take-off time.
Trump's political organisation has been sending out appeals for donations by portraying the president as under siege by the Washington establishment and the media.
"He thought he had gotten through and not been noticed or singled out and that he was going to get away without an individual interaction", Wittes said Comey told him.