President Donald Trump says that the appointment of a special counsel for the ongoing investigation into his campaign's ties to Russian Federation "divides the country".
He dismissed outrage over Mr Trump's disclosures as U.S. politicians whipping up "anti-Russian sentiment".
"As long as this continues it is hard to stand behind him", he said. Dianne Feinstein wrote Comey on Wednesday. He said Trump is still positioned to bring needed change to Washington.
The existence of the memo was first reported on Tuesday by The New York Times.
President Donald Trump reportedly asked former FBI Director James Comey to think about imprisoning some reporters.
"In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter", Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.
"No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly".
Striking a defiant stance, he added: "You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams".
The turmoil spilled into financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 370 points, Treasuries rallied the most since Brexit and volatility spiked higher as the turmoil surrounding the Trump administration roiled financial markets around the globe. Major U.S. stock indexes tumbled the most in eight months, while the CBOE Volatility Index jumped the most since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Trump then reportedly expressed disdain for the news media leaking information and suggested to Comey that he consider putting reporters in jail if they release classified information.
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"Former director Comey will have his choice of venue", said Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat. "The Intelligence Committee is going to continue its investigation full-steam ahead". House Republicans had mixed reactions to the announcement.
"Now is the time to gather all the pertinent information", Ryan told reporters after the private. "Russia is fine, but whether it's Russian Federation or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the United States of America".
A day before Comey's meeting with Trump, Flynn had been ousted for what the White House said were misleading accounts of his conversations with Russia's USA ambassador.
"If the US administration finds it possible, we are ready to provide a recording of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump to the US Congress and Senate", Mr Putin said during a press conference. "We don't have to wait for a president; in fact a lot of people in Congress get irritated when presidents interfere".
He said he would give the Federal Bureau of Investigation a week and then "if we need a subpoena, we'll do it".
"We need to have immediate classified briefings on what occurred at this meeting so that Congress can at least know as much as Russian leaders", she said in a statement. She added that "a special prosecutor is the first step, but it can not be the last".
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee also planned to ask Comey to testify, The Hill reported.
"The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations", said the statement.