Trump Told Russians Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Relieved Pressure on Him
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein knew President Donald Trump was going to fire Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey before he completed a memo outlining his own concerns about the former Federal Bureau of Investigation leader, according to a statement obtained by NBC News.
That explanation lasted until the next day, when Donald Trump agreed to give an interview and immediately firebombed his own PR team by admitting that he had made a decision to fire Comey before ever bringing Rosenstein and AG Jefferson Sessions to the White House.
The Justice Department on Friday distributed prepared remarks that Rosenstein delivered to Congress in separate briefings.
Rosenstein’s briefing also comes after the decision he made earlier this week to appoint Mueller to be special counsel in the Justice Department’s probe of Russian meddling in the USA election and any possible collusion between Moscow and Trump’s presidential campaign past year. Rosenstein said he then wrote the memo summarizing his “longstanding concerns” with Comey. Mr. Trump has denied any collusion and called the case a waste of money and time.
“The President has always emphasized the importance of making deals with Russian Federation as it relates to Syria, Ukraine, defeating ISIS and other key issues for the benefit and safety of the American people. That’s why the Deputy Attorney General went out and wrote his very, very strong letter”, Trump said while referring to Comey’s testimony before lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Rosenstein was returning to the Capitol on Friday for another closed-door session, this time with all members of the House.
The Russia scandal enveloping the White House poses an existential threat to the White House and more broadly to the GOP.
Comey’s decision to send the letter was praised at the time by President Donald Trump, whose aides initially used Rosenstein’s memo accusing Comey of flouting Justice Department rules as justification for his dismissal.
Director Comey attended the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office training seminar on October 27, 2016, and gave a detailed explanation of his reasons for making public statements about the conclusion of the Secretary Clinton email investigation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has also come under scrutiny for meeting with Kislyak during last year’s campaign, something he did not disclose during his confirmation hearings. Former Trump associates including Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Roger Stone – all of whom the president has distanced himself from – have been named by reports as potential targets, and former nat sec adviser Michael Flynn admitted to having improper conversations with a Russian ambassador during the transition.
Former Department of Justice officials from both political parties have criticized Director Comey’s decisions.
‘He did acknowledge that he learned Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo, ‘ McCaskill said.
Cleaver said Rosenstein told House members ” this is not a partisan investigation, this is about Russian Federation involvement in our democracy”. “I also expect that Director Comey will be able to shed light on issues critical to this Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election”, said Senator Warner (D-Va.).
On May 8, I learned that President Trump meant to remove Director Comey and sought my advice and input.