Trump tells Russians Comey was a ‘nut job’
The conversation, during a May 10 meeting – the day after he fired Comey – reinforces the notion that Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives.
In his Congressional testimony, Rosenstein said that he strongly disagreed with a number of Comey’s decisions regarding the investigation into former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Comey is expected to speak before the committee after May 29 – the end of Congress’s Memorial Day break.
Trump and his team planned the trip as an opportunity for the U.S. president to unify Muslim, Jewish and Christian leaders against extremism, a senior administration official said.
Earlier this week, investors dumped stocks in response to reports that Trump in February had asked Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, prompting accusations the president may have tried to hamper the probe.
He was also said to have told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak that “I’m not under investigation”.
Also on Friday: The Washingon Post reported that a senior White House adviser, close to the president had been identified as a “significant person of interest” in the probe.
The report said Trump’s comments came from the White House’s official written account of the meeting, which included quotations read to the Times with another official confirming the conversation had taken place.
Despite such frustrations, members agreed that Rosenstein had received a warm reception from both Republicans and Democrats at the meeting, a development that they said showed not only praise for his selection of Mueller to oversee the probe but also a recognition that Republican resistance to an independent probe was futile.
“This is what OBSTRUCTION looks like: ‘I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation”.
At first, the White House said Trump fired Comey based on the recommendation of the Justice Department, and because of Comey’s handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton past year.
One government official interviewed by the Times claimed Trump’s talk of “pressure” was a negotiation tactic, meant to press upon Moscow that its meddling in the 2016 elections had raised problems for the president, and to induce Russian Federation into diplomatic concessions.
The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.
A third official characterized Trump’s remarks similarly to the Times, suggesting that Trump was trying to use a negotiating tactic to wring concessions out of Russian Federation.
Cover-ups have traditionally been a major part of investigations that have threatened previous administrations. “That’s taken off, ‘” Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy said on Twitter.
“Did you at any time urge former FBI Director James Comey, in any way, shape or form, to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn“. The White House has denied there was collusion between the campaign and any “foreign entity”.