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President Trump calls special counsel assignment a 'witch hunt'

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President-elect Donald Trump. (AP Images) President-elect Donald Trump. (AP Images)
Former FBI Director Robert Mueller. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

President Donald Trump is assailing the naming of a special counsel as "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"
    
Trump is responding to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead a probe of allegations that Trump's campaign collaborated with Russia to sway the election.
    
In another tweet Thursday morning, he claims, "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!"
    
He did not provide examples or evidence of any alleged "illegal acts."
    
Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week, prompting some to call for an independent prosecutor to lead the investigation.
    
The White House says an investigation will prove there was no collusion.
    
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3:26 a.m.
    
The Justice Department has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller (MUHL'-ur) as a special counsel to lead a federal investigation into allegations that Donald Trump's campaign collaborated with Russia to sway the 2016 election that put him in the White House.
    
Mueller will have sweeping powers and the authority to prosecute any crimes he uncovers.
    
The surprise announcement to hand the probe over to Mueller, a lawman with deep bipartisan respect, was a striking shift for Trump's Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly loud calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.
    
It immediately escalated the legal stakes - and the potential political damage - for a president who has tried to dismiss the matter as partisan witch hunt and a "hoax."

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

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