The US Justice Department has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Russia's alleged meddling in the US election and any Trump campaign ties.

Former FBI director who worked in both the Bush and Obama administration, Robert Mueller, will lead the inquiries.

In announcing the decision, the Deputy Attorney-General said it is in the public interest to have an outsider.

The appointment has been widely praised by politicians from both sides.

Calls for a special prosecutor had mounted since President Donald Trump fired the most recent FBI director, James Comey, last week.

The FBI and Congress are looking into potential links between Mr Trump's campaign team and Russia.