White House official subject of Russia probe
US President Donald Trump told Russian diplomats that firing the “nut job” Federal Bureau of Investigation director had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to The New York Times.
The latest crisis to beset Trump comes days after an another revelation by the daily which claimed that the president has asked sacked FBI director James Comey to end the agency’s investigation into ties between his former national security adviser Mike Flynn and Russian Federation.
The announcement from committee Chairman Richard Burr, of North Carolina, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, the Virginia Democrat, followed only hours after the Washington Post reported the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election had identified a senior White House adviser close to the president as a significant person of interest.
“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”, said White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in a statement. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that Comey wrote in a memo that Trump had asked him to shut down an FBI investigation into ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“I hope that former Director Comey’s testimony will help answer some of the questions that have arisen since Director Comey was so suddenly dismissed by the President”.
A White House official said: “We are confident that when these inquiries are complete there will be no evidence to support any collusion between the campaign and Russian Federation. That’s taken off.” White House spokesman Sean Spicer called the president’s rhetoric part of his deal-making.
And Spicer maintained that Trump was aware the FBI investigation would continue after Comey’s axing, even though Trump’s quotes to the diplomats indicated otherwise.
The rule restricts newly appointed government officials from investigating clients of prior employers.
When asked about the Justice Department appointing Mueller as Special Counsel, the President deflected the question.
Trump had said Thursday he was “very close” to naming a replacement and that former Connecticut Sen.
“We believed that General Flynn was compromised with respect to the Russians”, Yates told the hearing in her first public comments on the scandal which has dogged the opening months of Trump’s presidency. Originally, the White House’s position was that Comey was sacked on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who cited the FBI director’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the campaign.
Days after he won the United States presidential election last November, Donald Trump announced the nomination of Sessions as attorney general.
The account from Rosenstein also agrees with Trump’s statements that the president had chose to fire Comey before he wrote the memo that the administration used to explain his firing. The Justice Department on Friday released the text of Rosenstein’s opening remarks for the briefings on Capitol Hill. “I don’t think (Rosenstein) did a lot to bolster our confidence in him today”.
The FBI’s investigation has bedeviled the Trump administration, and the president personally.
The billionaire property mogul added: “I’m not under investigation”. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Lavrov – on Syria, Ukraine and other issues – by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Trump.