Trump Told Russians He Fired 'Nut Job' Comey Because Of Investigation

The newspaper cited the White House's official written account of the Oval Office meeting. His testimony in front of the House of Representative may raise more questions than it answers, though, because it seems to contradict what the White House and attorney general Jeff Sessions have already said on the subject.

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. "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 Sen. But the decision surprised many since it was Comey himself leading the investigation of Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

He said he hopes Mr Comey's testimony will answer some of the questions that have arisen since the Federal Bureau of Investigation director was suddenly dismissed last week by President Trump.

On Friday, The Washington Post reported that a senior White House official was now under investigation as part of an investigation over Russian efforts to tilt the elections in Trump's favour.

Meanwhile, The New York Times wrote that Trump told Russian officials he fired former FBI Director James Comey because he was a "nut job", and that doing so eased the pressure of the Russia investigation.

Asked about the Times report, Spicer said of the former FBI chief, "by grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation". "He was insane, a real nut job", Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. Trump has denied that ever happened. And maybe Trump did enjoy having Comey off the case, but perhaps that was merely a helpful byproduct of a more legitimate reason to fire him.

"You'd have to show a corrupt intent to impede or obstruct an FBI investigation and that's usually pretty hard because you have to get inside somebody's mind", Akerman, now a partner at New York City law firm Dorsey & Whitney, said.

Democrats, who have compared the widening scandal to the Watergate break-in and cover-up that brought down Republican former President Richard Nixon in 1974, were quick to pounce on the latest reports.

The White House has struggled since Comey's firing to explain the chain of events that led to it and who exactly made the decision.

"I wrote it. I believe it".

Mr Trump has tried to put investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office behind him.

The sources said the intensifying effort does not mean criminal charges are near, or that any such charges will result.

Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no - and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: "I think it's totally ridiculous".

  • Larry Hoffman