Trump accused of asking FBI to stop Flynn probe

Donald Trump, on Feb 28 2017 White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn

He riled administrations of both parties with his moral certitude and decisions that critics said strayed from ordinary protocol, such as his public announcement - without the involvement of the Justice Department - that the Federal Bureau of Investigation would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her email use.

Israel's top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported in January that Israeli intelligence officials had been told in a meeting with United States colleagues that "Israeli intelligence information, methods of operation and sources" could leak from a Trump administration seen as having close ties to the Kremlin.

US President Donald Trump sits in the driver's seat of a semitrailer as he welcomes truckers and CEOs to the White House in Washington, DC, to discuss healthcare, March 23, 2017.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement: 'If these reports are true, the President's brazen attempt to shut down the FBI's investigation of Michael Flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy'.

The White House denied the report.

The source close to Comey said the memo included a line in which Comey quoted Trump as having said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go".

The White House issued a furious denial after the notes were disclosed late Tuesday, near the end of a tumultuous day spent beating back potentially disastrous news reports from dawn to dusk.

Defending Trump's actions, officials played down the importance and secrecy of the information, which had been supplied by Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement, and Trump himself said he had "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation.

"We are witnessing an obstruction of justice case unfolding in real time", Connecticut Sen. The White House disputed the account.

Comey had been overseeing investigations into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russian Federation to tilt the 2016 election in his favor. While the White House initially cited a Justice Department recommendation and Comey's very public handling of the Clinton email investigation as reasons, those explanations quickly shifted. "Memos, transcripts, tapes - the list keeps getting longer", he said.

Israel sought on Wednesday (May 17) to contain the fallout from Mr Donald Trump's sharing of its intelligence with Russian Federation, while not commenting directly on the move ahead of the U.S. president's visit next week.

"He says there's a difference between "'Hey, Flynn's a good guy, it would be nice if you cut him a break" as opposed to "I'm the president.

The administration spent the first half of Tuesday defending Trump's disclosure of classified information to senior Russian officials. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said the president's comments were "wholly appropriate".

An administration official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity that the original intelligence came from Israel.

"Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump", said Israel's ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman maintained that Israeli and American security cooperation will not change in light of revelations that President Trump gave sensitive Israeli information to the Russians on the Islamic State threat.

A USA official who confirmed the disclosure to The Associated Press said the revelation potentially put the source at risk.

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