Trump Shared Relief Over Comey Firing During Meeting With Russian Officials
- Author: Leroy Wright May 22, 2017,
May 22, 2017, 7:01
Former FBI Director James Comey will be testifying publicly in Congress in what has become a highly anticipated appearance that could answer lots of questions about how much President Trump tried to interfere in the investigation into his campaign's connections to Russian Federation.
Comey will testify in open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee at some point after the Memorial Day holiday, May 29, though a date has not yet been set.
The move perplexed committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., who vowed to bring Comey before the committee nonetheless to testify as part of their probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, including potential ties between the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials.
President Donald Trump reportedly Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the country's ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak that Comey was "crazy, a real nutjob" during a meeting in the Oval Office on May 10, one day after Comey was sacked, according to the New York Times.
"I just fired the head of the FBI", Trump, according to a document read to the Times by an American official.
Another report published by The Washington Post claimed that Trump had revealed highly classified details to Lavrov and the Russian ambassador during the same meeting at the Oval Office.
U.S. lawmakers from both parties have expressed varying degrees of concern about ties between the Trump administration and Russian Federation and the president's handling of the matter.
McMaster also wouldn't speak to whether Trump confronted the Russians about their involvement in last year's presidential election.
The president's reported comments have led many to question what kind of pressure Comey's firing aimed to alleviate.
Meanwhile, the White House refused to respond immediately to a request for comment on J. Brien Comey's statements. That's increased the appetite on Capitol Hill to hear directly from Comey himself.
Comey turned down an invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The day after he was sacked, officials say Comey had just requested more resources to pursue his investigation into Russia's interference in the election, and whether there was any collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and the foreign power, which fueled concerns that Trump may have been trying to undermine an investigation that could threaten his presidency.
On Thursday, during a press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump reiterated that there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not refute the Times story, but said that it was Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions" that created "unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".
"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 said.
The comments, allegedly made one day after Trump abruptly fired Comey, could fuel allegations Trump got rid of him because of the investigation into possible collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation.
However, Trump has criticized the decision to appoint a special counsel, saying that it "hurts our country".
Trump told Holt that he called Comey multiple times and asked him whether he was under investigation.
Comey's father said he has never been a fan of Trump and didn't vote for him: "I think the man should be in a home quite honestly, he's insane as a hoot".
"Of course, there is context with text", Taylor said, " and we don't know the context of the meeting itself and what he was trying to do.