'Lies, plain and simple' - Comey on Trump admin
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Jun 09, 2017,
Jun 09, 2017, 16:54
After re-examining its February 14 article alleging contacts between members of the Trump campaign and senior Russian intelligence officials during the run-up to the election, The New York Times announced Thursday that it stands by its reporting, despite testimony to the contrary from former FBI Director James Comey. Indeed, Mr. Comey was cautious not to reveal much about what investigators are uncovering and instead reviewed what he had already offered in written testimony - much of it about whether the president sought to affect the investigation and perhaps even obstruct justice, a potentially impeachable offense.
Trump Jr. took issue with Comey's comments about whether the president was ordering him to drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
"No. He called me at my desk at lunchtime and asked me was I free for dinner that night", Comey said, adding that he had to break dinner plans with his wife. He is a good guy.
Trump tweeted on Friday, May 12, that "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversation before he starts leaking to the press". "I took it as this is what he wants me to do". "That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me".
The outcome could have significant repercussions for Trump's 139-day-old presidency as special counsel Robert Mueller and multiple congressional committees investigate whether Trump's campaign team colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.
"The big story to me has always been ... the assumption of the critics of the president - of his pursuers, you might say - is that somewhere along the line in the past year the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians, something to [give] a helping hand, encouraging them, feeding their desire to affect the decision in some way", Mr. Matthews said, the Daily Caller reported. "I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that's a conclusion I'm sure the special counsel will work towards, to try and understand what the intention was there, and whether that's an offense".
At the same time, he strongly suggested obstruction.
Comey said that as of May, when he was sacked, Trump was not personally under FBI investigation - offering, finally, the public acknowledgment Trump had been requesting so assiduously. "I was sacked in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russian Federation investigation was being conducted".
From his opening remarks, the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director made clear he believes President Trump was not truthful when he stated he fired Comey because the Federal Bureau of Investigation was in disarray and poorly led. "Those were lies, plain and simple".
"Today, Mr. Comey admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of his privileged communications with the president", he said. I can assure you and I have been approved to say this - that the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that that story is not only inaccurate, but it's grossly overstated and it was wrong. And in testimony that exposed deep distrust between the president and the veteran lawman, Comey described intense discomfort about their one-on-one conversations, saying he decided he immediately needed to document the discussions in memos.
The tape gave the lie to Nixon's famous protestation that "I am not a crook".
Comey continued, saying that he was shocked the president would ask him to "let things go" and was never sure of how to respond.
After firing Comey last month, Trump told CNN's Lester Holt he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing" when he made the decision.
"I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document", Comey said about his January 6 meeting with Donald Trump. "And I think it's frankly insulting that that question would be asked".
"I was also confused by the initial explanation that was offered publicly, that I was sacked because of the decisions I had made during the election year", Comey said.