Tillerson: Trump told Russians about Comey to show he's not distracted

"He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to the Times, which cited a document read to it by a US official. It says the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".

"I'm not under investigation", the President added. And now it comes out that Trump told the Russians that it relieved pressure from the investigation when he fired "nut job" Comey.

The White House also has acknowledged that Kushner met with [Sergey] Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the USA, in late November.

Gen. H.R. McMaster, Mr. Trump's national security adviser, who was at the Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, was trotted out on the White House front driveway to dismiss the report as "false". It says one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

Press secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the report, the newspaper said.

Comey, however, turned down an invitation to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee as well, which left chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., "extremely disappointed", the lawmakers said in a statement Friday evening. 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. The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it.

McMaster also said in Sunday's interview that the central goal of Trump's conversation with Lavrov and Russia's ambassador to Washington was to confront Russian Federation on areas where the United States considers them disruptive, such as Syria. The meeting ignited controversy this week when it was revealed that Trump had disclosed intelligence from an Israeli counterterrorism operation.

The president has been adamant that the meddling did not alter the outcome of the race, but it has become a political cudgel for his opponents.

Many Democrats and some Republicans have raised alarms that the president may have tried to obstruct justice by firing Comey. On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Comey's predecessor, Robert Mueller, to serve as special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation probe.

In a speech tomorrow in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Trump is expected to call for unity in the fight against radical Islam and cast the struggle in the Middle East as a "battle between good and evil", while abandoning some of the harsh anti-Muslim rhetoric of his presidential campaign, according to a draft of the speech. The official claims that Trump simply used the topic to segue into creating a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Lavrov regarding Syria, Ukraine and other issues by bringing up the fact that Russia interfering in the United States election caused him great political strife.

  • Leroy Wright