Trump: Appointment of special counsel divides country

Trump emphatically said "no" when asked during a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the White House's East Room. (CNN)
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WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump says that the appointment of a special counsel for the ongoing investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia "divides the country."

Mr. Trump was reacting Thursday to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation after he fired FBI Director James Comey.

Mr. Trump said Thursday that he respects "the entire thing" but said that he personally has no ties to Russia.

He reiterated his earlier comments that the investigation is a "witch hunt."

Mr. Trump says, "We want to bring this country of ours together."

Mr. Trump responded with a direct "no, no" to a question about whether he asked Comey to shelve an investigation into his former national security adviser.

Mr. Trump also was questioned Thursday over revelations that he had shared secrets with the Russians.

He denied this as well.

Comey associates this week revealed the existence of a memo Comey wrote after his Feb. 14 meeting with Mr. Trump in which he says the president asked him to shut down the FBI investigation into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Mr. Trump sent Comey a letter last week abruptly firing him.

Trump was speaking in a joint press conference with Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos.