DONALD TRUMP is facing mounting calls for his impeachment after allegations that he asked FBI director James Comey to drop an investigation into Michael Flynn’s links with Russia. Here is the latest news and live updates.
Donald Trump asked Mr Comey to close the probe into his former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s links with Russia shortly before he sacked the FBI director, according to a memo by Mr Comey.
The US president is quoted as saying: “I hope you can let this go”. The White House has rejected the memo as inaccurate.
Robert Mueller, a former FBI director, has now been appointed as special counsel to oversee the inquiry into links between Mr Trump’s election campaign and Russia.
As Democrats continue to call for the US President’s removal, Express.co.uk brings you breaking news, live updates and the latest odds on Mr Trump being impeached.
Friday May 19
10.42am BST: Donald Trump is setting off on first foreign trip as president today, and has said that he is looking forward “to getting this whole situation behind us”.
The President has spent the past week facing calls for impeachment, which has left his White House divided and officials fearful for their jobs.
One official told CNN that the tour is “kind of do-or-die”, referring to both staff and the President’s fortunes.
Mr Trump will visit Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium and will tell Muslim leaders of his “hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam”.
8.00am BST: Donald Trump’s first press conference since sacking FBI director James Comey has attracted criticism for it unusual nature.
Much of the criticism is based on Mr Trump’s refusal to answer a reporter’s question about whether he asked Mr Comey to drop an investigation into Michael Flynn’s links with Russia.
“No, no, next question,” began trending after the US president shut down ABC News’ Scott Thurman.
02.40am BST: Donald Trump brutally put down a reporter who asked whether he urged former FBI director James Comey to shut down the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s alleged ties to Russia.
The President interrupted the reporter with “no, no, next question” when asked whether he had tried to stop the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s alleged involvement in the presidential election last year.
Thursday May 18
10pm BST: Donald Trump said the appointment of a special counsel to investigate possible collusion between his presidential campaign on Russia was dividing the country, and he repeated his contention there was no such collusion.
He said: ”There’s been no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians. Zero. I think it divides the country.”
8.50pm BST: Democrats appear to be in no rush to push Donald Trump out of the White House.
Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said: “No one ought to, in my view, rush to embrace the most extraordinary remedy that involves the removal of the president from office.
He warned that Democrats should not let their actions “be perceived as an effort to nullify the election by other means.”
6.10pm BST: Long time Donald Trump supporter Ann Coulter is voicing her concerns about the progress Donald Trump has made since taking office.
“I’m not very happy with what has happened so far,” Coulter told the Daily Caller. “I guess we have to try to push him to keep his promises.
“But this isn’t North Korea, and if he doesn’t keep his promises I’m out.”
Ms Coulter is increasingly worried about the lack of progress on Mr Trump’s promised border wall with Mexico.
She added: “I have no regrets for ferociously supporting him. What choice did we have?”
“I don’t apologize… He said all the right things and nobody else would even say it.”
4.50pm BST: DC Republican Party former chairman Ron Philips has dismissed the idea that there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign as a “ridiculous notion”.
“Never in the history of the United States have we seen such biased coverage towards the White House,” he told Sky News.
12.52pm BST: Mr Trump has just tweeted: “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!
“This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”
11.55am BST: Mr Trump’s campaign made contact with Russia at least 18 times during the election race, a new report has claimed.
Former US officials told Reuters that Michael Flynn and other advisors had ties with Moscow.
Mr Flynn and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak allegedly discussed setting up a back channel for communications between Mr Trump and Vladimir Putin that “could bypass the US national security bureaucracy”.
These talks escalated after Mr Trump won the election on November 8, the report said.
10.27am BST: Mr Trump has a 55 per cent chance of leaving office before the end of his first term, according to Betfair.
The bookmaker has given Mr Trump a 27 per cent chance of exiting this year, with a 20 per cent chance that he will leave the White House in 2018.
The most likely option (45 per cent) is a Trump exit in 2020 or later, after the end of his first term.
10am BST: Republican Kevin McCarthy has said he was only joking when he suggested that money had exchanged hands between Mr Trump and Mr Putin.
During a meeting in June 2016, Mr McCarthy reportedly said: “There’s two people, I think, Putin pays –[California Representative Dana] Rohrabacher and Trump.”
According to a transcript published by the Washington Post, speaker Paul Ryan replied: “This is an off the record … [laughter] … NO LEAKS … [laughter] … alright?”
Mr McCarthy yesterday told reporters at the Capitol: “It’s a bad attempt at a joke; that’s all there is to it. No one believes it to be true from any stretch of fact.”
Mr Ryan’s spokesman said last night: “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humour.”
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