President Trump invited a number of network news anchors to an off-the-record luncheon Wednesday to discuss his upcoming nine-day visit to the Middle East and Europe, his first international trip as president.
According to Fox News host Bret Baier, the atmosphere in the luncheon between Trump and members of the press was “divisive.”
But Baier said the president himself sounded “undeterred” and seemed like himself.
The president has been the target of an onslaught of negative media reports this week.
“The White House is hoping to turn the page, as you well know, with all the coverage,” Baier said.
A report released Monday alleged Trump shared “code-word information” with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week.
That report was followed up less than a day later with another report alleging the president asked then-FBI Director James Comey in February to shut down the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
The political fallout from the reports prompted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Trump called the reports “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history, and said he would be vindicated by Mueller’s investigation.
This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017
In addition to discussing his upcoming international trip, the president told the news anchors at the Wednesday luncheon he would soon be announcing a replacement for former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump confirmed that former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman is the leading candidate to replace the ousted FBI director.
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