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Updated On: Saturday, June 24 2017
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Trump Says He's Victim of Witch Hunt, Denies Pressuring FBI Chief

Content by: Voice of America

WHITE HOUSE —

A defiant President Donald Trump flatly denied Thursday that he had pressured the FBI to close its investigation of a former close aide, and he questioned the need for a special counsel to probe possible collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russians trying to influence the presidential election.

“No, no. Next question,” he replied when a reporter asked whether he had asked then-FBI Director James Comey to back down on the bureau's probe into fired national security adviser Michael Flynn.

At his first news conference since April 12, standing alongside visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump denied there had been any collusion between himself, his campaign and Russian agents of influence. “Even my enemies say there was no collusion,” he said.

But he added a qualifier that seemed to leave open the question of others' involvement. “I can only speak for myself and the Russians. Zero.”

Controversies

Trump lamented that the controversies swirling around the White House were damaging national unity. “I think it divides the country,” he said. “I think we have a very divided country because of that and many other things.”

Those comments followed a pair of early-morning Twitter posts questioning the need for the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to look into the collusion allegations.

“With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!” the president tweeted.

WATCH: Trump comments on appointment of special counsel

President Trump Reacts to Appointment of Special Counsel