Trump said firing Comey relieved 'great pressure'
- Author: Leroy Wright May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 22:19
He did say Comey never requested more resources for the Russian investigation prior to being fired by Trump, as had been reported. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office on May 10, the day after he dismissed Comey, according to the document.
But Mr. Issa did say there is "great consensus" between Democrats and Republicans that the Russians need to be punished for interfering the USA presidential election in November.
Mr. Trump was hosting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak.
One official read sections of it to a New York Times reporter, leaving press secretary Sean Spicer flummoxed as he left town on Trump's first overseas voyage as president.
"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", Spicer told The Times.
Both Mr. Warner and the committee's chairman, Richard Burr, indicated they were looking forward to Mr. Comey's testimony about Russian interference in the November 8 Presidential elections that saw Mr. Trump secure the White House by scoring the electoral college, though Democratic rival Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Mark Warner, announced Friday that Comey will testify in an open setting before the committee.
Mr Comey's dismissal last week set off a series of jarring developments that culminated on Wednesday in the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to probe possible ties between Russian Federation and Mr Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
The New York Times reports that Trump also had a few choice words for the Russians about the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey, whom he defenestrated last week.
On Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be special counsel overseeing the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.
Durbin and other lawmakers said Rosenstein did not indicate who in the Trump administration told him to write the memo with the rationale for ousting Comey.
On Monday, it was reported that Trump shared classified information with two Russian diplomats during an Oval Office meeting last week.
House members and senators said Rosenstein steered clear of specifics in answering questions about his appointment of former FBI director as special counsel but made clear that Mueller has wide latitude to pursue the investigation wherever it leads, potentially including criminal charges. White House senior advisers such as Steven Miller and Jared Kushner have been speculated as possible officials that could be under investigation.
At first, the White House said Trump fired Comey based on the recommendation of the Justice Department, and because of Comey's handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton past year. This is in addition to former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, who were previously identified as subjects of the investigation.
Another government official who spoke to The Times said Trump was using a "negotiating tactic" with Lavrov when he explained the "pressure" he faced.