Appointment of special counsel is welcome development

A special counsel is essential in this case, and Mueller must be prepared to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Mr Trump later tweeted: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!"

But he expressed more resentment Thursday in his tweets.

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" added Mr Trump. "This is a truth hunt", said Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar.

The president also suggested that the investigation now being headed by Mueller was motivated by an attempt by Democrats to explain away "having lost an election that they should have easily won because of the Electoral College being slanted so much in their way".

But he drew headlines earlier in the week when he told Washington-based reporters that the spate of negative stories regarding Trump and intelligence had put the White House in a "downward spiral".

A number of lawmakers exited the meeting stressing that Mueller's probe, while appropriately diving in to all possible Trump-Russia ties, may make it more hard for current congressional investigations to access vital intelligence.

The deputy attorney general who made the appointment, Rod Rosenstein, was also under mounting political pressure after he wrote a letter to Trump justifying Comey's dismissal by criticizing the FBI director's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

Sanders said on "This Week" that Congress should complete its review first, which she said she is confident will show that Trump associates had not involvement in Russia's actions. "It appears to me now to be considered a criminal investigation", Mr Graham told reporters after Mr Rosenstein briefed all 100 senators on the investigation.

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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said after the meeting that Rosenstein had essentially confirmed Trump's recounting.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump had called the naming of Mueller as special prosecutor to head the investigation into his campaign's Russian Federation links a "witch hunt". "I'm confident he'll be able to get to the bottom of any role Russian Federation played in our election".

"If there is obstruction of justice, perjury or false statements made in connection with that investigation", Zeidenberg said. He worked with Mr Comey when the latter served as deputy attorney general in George W Bush's administration.

Trump claimed that the report on Comey's memo was not true.

Though many believe the special counsel will conduct a proper probe, some say there's still a need for more outside review.

Flynn's contacts with Russians during the campaign, as well as his work for the Turkish government, are under investigation.

Though the details of Rosenstein's Senate address aren't publicly available, Vice reported several Senators' responses after the meeting.

The House Intelligence Committee requested more documents from the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation related to its Russia probe and announced that former CIA Director John Brennan would testify in public before the panel on Tuesday to answer questions about Russian involvement in the election.

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