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Trump to face the press for the first time after special counsel announcement

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, for the first time since his Justice Department named a special counsel to probe Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, will speak with reporters on Thursday.

Trump will hold a joint news conference this afternoon with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in the White House’s East Room, where aides are preparing for a series of questions about the investigation into his administration and his firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Trump is both publicly and privately stewing about Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein’s decision to name special counsel. After the White House put out a subdued statement on Wednesday night about former FBI Director Robert Mueller being named special counsel, Trump publicly vented on Thursday morning about the new probe.

“This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history,” he wrote. “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!”

Trump’s tweets signal his White House — or at least the man in charge — will try to resist Mueller’s investigation, meaning the shadow of investigation will now hang over a White House in need of a morale boost.

Trump has cast himself throughout the Russia investigation as an aggrieved president who is being mistreated by the media.

“No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly,” he said on Wednesday to the United States Coast Guard Academy. “You can’t let them get you down, you can’t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.”