Comey turned up Trump-Russia probe days before firing

Trump's move was so sudden that his White House staff, accustomed to his impromptu style, was caught off guard.

According to The Times story, Clinton's friends say she does not believe that that is the reason Comey was sacked. The White House suggested Wednesday that a loss of confidence in Comey among Federal Bureau of Investigation employees contributed to his firing.

But multiple news outlets have reported that Trump made up his mind long before speaking to either Sessions or Comey. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders accused Comey of committing "atrocities" and failing to do his job.

The White House has repeatedly said Comey's abrupt firing on Tuesday had nothing to do with the Russian Federation probe, which Comey said in March includes investigating any possible links between Trump campaign associates and Moscow.

The Republican president also gave further details of his account that Comey informed him three times that he was not under investigation.

In a statement, Grassley said that Comey had previously briefed him and the panel's top Democrat, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and that the lawmakers "heard nothing that contradicted the president's statement".

Trump said on Thursday, however, that the decision to fire Comey was his alone and that he would have done so "regardless of the recommendation" from Rosenstein. The less forgiving response is to assume that they're covering up an outrageous abuse. But he said he had no regrets and would make the same decision again.

One of the nice things about telling the truth is that it's easy to remember, and since it doesn't get discredited, the truth doesn't have to evolve.

He refused to comment on what Comey did or didn't say, but when asked whether it would be common for an FBI director to notify someone they were not the target of an investigation, said "I'm not aware of that being a standard practice".

Libertarian author and historian James Bovard told Sputnik the firing of Comey was unlikely to threaten the civil rights and freedoms of USA citizens in any significant way.

US intelligence agencies concluded in a January report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to disrupt the election that included hacking into Democratic Party emails and leaking them, with the aim of helping Trump.

Trump fired Flynn, his first national security adviser, in February for misleading Pence about the extent of his conversations with a Russian envoy before Trump's inauguration.

Former Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer, who was quoted in the memo, described the "firing based it seems entirely on Comey's mishandling of the Clinton investigation" as "a sham". Comey was leading the FBI investigation into potential collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russian government officials who sought to manipulate the outcome of the US presidential election.

Trump has repeatedly denied that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation, and has even suggested that Moscow may not be responsible for cyberattacks on Democrats.

Even Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the committee's chairman, said Comey's firing would "be harmful" to the committee and probably delay the completion of its probe, particularly in the effort to de-conflict its work with the bureau's.

But Rosenstein's own role in Comey's firing became increasingly murky Wednesday.

Mr Rosenstein received overwhelming bi-partisan support when the Senate voted 94-6 in favour at his confirmation hearing in April.

  • Leroy Wright