Special counsel appointed to lead Russia investigation

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed by the Department of Justice to continue the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
4:10 | 05/18/17

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Transcript for Special counsel appointed to lead Russia investigation
That former FBI director Robert Mueller is coming in to investigate the trump campaign. And from the capitol to the stock exchange, George and robin, a lot have their eyes on Wall Street. Its worst day of the year. That drop came before we found out about Robert Mueller. We're also tracking all the latest from Washington this morning including president trump's reaction to that surprise appointment of a special counsel. The president said that investigation will confirm there was no collusion, that he did nothing wrong. Later today deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein will briefer a full senate on why he made that decision and what he knows about president trump's decision to fire James Comey. As for Comey he's been invited to speak to the senate judiciary and house oversight committees. I'll speak to the chairman of that committee in a moment. With Robert Mueller taking over the Russia investigation, he has a long history with the FBI. He served as director from 2001 to 2013. He was confirmed unanimously under both president George W. Bush and president Obama. Now when he retired in 2013 he was the second longest server director behind J. Edgar Hoover. Our reporters covering all the fallout and Pierre Thomas starts us off. Reporter: George, good morning. It's been a stunning week and stunning 4 hours with events that had potentially enormous implications for the white house. Now word of a special counsel to investigate whether there was collusion between the trump campaign and the Russians. The dramatic announcement, there will be a special counsel investigating those with ties to president trump. The man leading this new investigation, Bob Mueller, a former FBI director, in some ways a unique figure in Washington. Last confirmed by the senate 100-0. His prestigious ten-year appointment as FBI director extended by an additional two years. There's almost nobody who has a better reputation than Bob Mueller for being a dogged investigator and a fair prosecutor. Reporter: Make no mistake, this will be a full-scale investigation with Mueller exercising extraordinary power. Somebody who is in the role of special counsel will have the full range of authorities that they need to carry out their mandate. That includes subpoena power, grand jury power. Reporter: Just hours before the Mueller announcement president trump spoke at the coast guard academy. No politician in history and I say this with great surety has been treated worse or more unfairly. Reporter: The white house says they were not aware of the special counsel decision until 25 minutes before the news was made public. Deputy attorney general rod Rosenstein who took over the investigation after attorney general Jeff sessions recused himself took the dramatic step of appointing Mueller writing, based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of Independence from the Normal chain of command, a special counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Rosenstein's Independence questioned because he supported Comey's firing and the president's decision to fire Comey was rosensteins, it was suggested only later acknowledging it was president trump's idea from the beginning. Rosenstein's hand was finally forced after news broke that Comey had written a memo suggesting that president trump suggested him to go easy on Michael Flynn who resigned over that controversy regarding his discussions with the Russian ambassador. The white house denied trump tried to influence Comey but the revelation created more pressure for a special counsel, George. On the underlying issue of the trump campaign and Russia new report from reuters saying there were at least 18 undisclosed previously undisclosed contacts between the campaign and Russia. Reporter: The reuters report made the result of what sources have told me the FBI was starting to do, they went back and looked at all the phone calls and communications that the Russian ambassador had during the campaign and after the election. They wanted to know who he was speaking to and they should have transcripts of those conversations that could be critical, George. Right, according to the report still no evidence of any improper collusion. Okay, Pierre Thomas, thanks very

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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