A memo reportedly penned by Comey after a February meeting with Trump suggested the president had asked him to halt a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russian Federation. One associate said Comey wrote down as much as he could once he got back to his vehicle.
Just weeks later, Trump fired Comey. "They [citizens] deserve an FBI Director that is above reproach". The FBI has been looking into Flynn for months as part of a counterintelligence investigation. He also highlighted the "very, very strong recommendation" he got from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
This was only the second time in the nation's history that a special counsel has been appointed like this.
Lawmakers from both parties welcomed the appointment, describing Mueller as nonpolitical, fiercely independent and fair.
Trump's embattled presidency, which has invited increasingly frequent comparison with Richard Nixon and Watergate, passed a new landmark at the press conference when he was asked bluntly, in front of a foreign head of state, whether he recalled anything he had done that "might be worthy of criminal charges in these investigation or impeachment".
They asked the White House to turn over 'records of interactions with former Director Comey, including any audio recordings'.
"There was no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign - but I can only speak for myself - and the Russians - zero", he said, adding that questions surrounding his campaign were divisive and pulled focus from other problems facing the nation. He said he would give the Federal Bureau of Investigation a week and then "if we need a subpoena, we'll do it".
"No leaks, all right?" But the swirling questions about his conduct were clearly on his mind when he told graduates at the US Coast Guard Academy in CT that "no politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly".
FBI Director James B. Comey appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee, May 3, in Washington. Trump pulled Comey aside after a national security meeting and urged him to "let this go", according to individuals who have seen the memo. The existence of the memo was first reported Tuesday by The New York Times.
Hannity tweeted on Wednesday that five groups were trying to destroy Trump: the media, Democrats, deep state/intelligence operatives, establishment Republicans and "never Trumpers".
"The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations", said the statement. Trump traveled to CT earlier in the day to give the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Two members of Congress that Trump had reportedly been considering for the position - Texas Sen. "The reports that the President shared sensitive intelligence with Russian officials are deeply disturbing".
The disclosure jeopardized an important intelligence-sharing arrangement and hindered the ability to detect future threats.
Trump fired Flynn on February 13, on grounds that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russians.