Trump Tells Russians That Comey Firing Relieved Pressure
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 12:28
This was obviously a sham, which Trump revealed the next day when he told Lester Holt he would've fired Comey regardless of what Rosenstein had to say.
One official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.
As the Post notes, Trump senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are among the current administration officials known to have communicated with Russian officials during the campaign. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to a report based on a summary of the meeting obtained by the Times.
Trump reportedly added, "I'm not under investigation".
The ex-FBI chief has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee about the investigation.
The latest report was published just as Mr Trump took off on a flight to the Middle East for the first leg of his first foreign tour as president.
Anonymous sources familiar with the probe told the Post that a "significant person of interest" in the sprawling probe into Russia's election interference is a senior White House adviser close to President Donald Trump. Flynn and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort are central figures in the federal Russian Federation probe, and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page's ties with Russian Federation are also under investigation.
Warning that leaks were undermining national security, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said: "By grandstanding and politicising the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation. The series of public statements about the email investigation, in my opinion departed from the proper role of the FBI Director and damaged public confidence in the Bureau and the Department".
However, he made clear he did not intend for Mr Trump or other White House officials to use the document to justify firing Mr Comey, which is what they have done.
"I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".