The Latest: Trump assails naming of counsel as 'witch hunt'

FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2013, file photo, then-incoming FBI Director James Comey talks with outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller before

President Donald Trump gestures as he gives the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., Wednesday, M

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. takes questions from reporters at the Republican National Committee Headquarters in Washington, Wednesd

FILE - In this May 8, 2017, file photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit i

President Donald Trump poses for a photo with U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduate Liam Christian Otto during commencement exercises at th

FILE - In this June 19, 2013, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. On May 17, 2017,

FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2013, file photo, then-FBI director Robert Mueller speaks during an interview at FBI headquarters in Washington

FILE - In this June 21, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama, followed by outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller, right, and his choi

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 1991, file photo, then-Assistant Attorney General Robert Mueller points to a photo of the reconstructed wreckag

Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman waves to members of the media as he leaves the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Wednes

FILE - In this Jan. 3, 2017, file photo, Michael Flynn, then - President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for National Security Adviser arr

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local):

7:55 a.m.

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."