White House offers muted response on Comey memo
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 2:07
("I hope you can let this go, " Trump said.) That shook loose Sen.
The White House has played down the importance and secrecy of the information Trump gave to the Russians, which came from Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement.
Vladimir Putin has waded into the growing row surrounding US President Donald Trump and his links to Russian Federation. Reports that this information was provided by a USA ally and shared without its knowledge sends a troubling signal to America's allies and partners around the world and may impair their willingness to share intelligence with us in the future. Charles Grassley of Iowa and ranking Democratic Sen.
The Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday asked Comey to appear before the panel in both open and closed sessions. The U.S. sees the Kurds as strong military partners, but the Turkish government says they have ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which it views as a terrorist organization.
Members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee requested on Wednesday memos written by former FBI Director James Comey in an escalating controversy around whether President Donald Trump tried to end an FBI investigation into connections between the president's associates and Russian officials.
This revelation, which would be startling in calmer times, is made somewhat worse because of the other small detail it brings to light-the Trump campaign knew about the federal investigation into Flynn's lobbying activities way earlier than had been reported. The sources cited in the Times report note that Flynn notified the Trump transition team about a month after he himself learned he was under investigation. Then, in a telling sign the temperature was going up, he said at a GOP dinner Tuesday night that the Trump situation has reached "Watergate size and scale".
Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, said simply, "It would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House".
The person who described the Comey memo to the AP was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. While that alone raised many, many eyebrows, the allegation that Trump pressured Comey to ease up on Flynn is, as the New York Times described it, "the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump's associates and Russian Federation". Instead, the White House press office released an emailed statement denying Comey's version of events.
There was also Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., who voted against the dog's-breakfast health-care bill, who put out a statement when Comey was sacked, which read in part: "I can't defend or explain tonight's actions or timing of the firing of FBI Director James Comey".
Ten days before the inauguration, Flynn had a conversation with Susan Rice, former national security adviser for President Barack Obama, about the Pentagon's plan to retake Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic state.