U.S.

Trump Told Russians Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Relieved Pressure on Him

Trump Told Russians Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Relieved Pressure on Him

Separately, the New York Times reported on Friday that Trump told Russian officials at a White House meeting last week that firing Comey relieved "great pressure" that the president was facing from the ongoing probe into Russia and the election.

In a move aimed at restoring public faith in the Russian Federation investigation, Rosenstein this week appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to head the probe. "He was insane, a real nut job", Mr. Trump told the Russians in the Oval Office on May 10, according to a document read to the The New York Times.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", Burr said in a joint statement announcing Comey had agreed to testify.

The White House did not deny the conversation took place, but said Comey's "grandstanding" on an investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections, including possible ties to Trump's campaign, had hurt relations with Moscow.

"As the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity", Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in a statement in response to The Post's report.

"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", he said.




Across town, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein was briefing the Senate about his decision to appoint former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller to lead the independent Trump-Russia probe. But lawmakers at both congressional sessions expressed frustration that Rosenstein would say little in answer to their questions about his actions - or others' - before Comey's firing.

Trump reportedly added that he wasn't under investigation, which is potentially untrue, since the president may not know the extent or specifics of the probe.

US intelligence agencies said Russian Federation hacked emails of senior Democrats and orchestrated the release of embarrassing information in a bid to tip the 2016 USA presidential election in favor of Trump, whose views were seen as more in line with Moscow's.

On Friday, members of Congress said, Rosenstein clearly defined his role in Comey's dismissal, telling the assembly that while he had written a memo criticising Comey's flouting of Justice Department rules for his public revelation of aspects of the Hillary Clinton email probe, it was not intended as a justification for firing Comey. Trump hopes to use his appearances in the Mideast to define the conflict with Islamic State and other terrorists as one of good versus evil, rather than the West versus Islam, the official said.

A current White House official has been identified as a person of interest by law enforcement investigating possible collusion between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's presidential campaign, NBC News confirmed, citing two US officials. The FBI was looking into the Trump campaign's potential ties with Russian Federation, which intelligence agencies concluded meddled in the 2016 election in an effort to get the Republican candidate elected. Though he has consistently called the Russian Federation probe a "witch hunt", he told anchor Lester Holt that it played into his decision to get rid of Comey.

President Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey on May 9. (Rosenstein backed up this version, telling a Senate committee that Trump had already made a decision to fire Comey before he wrote his letter.) But after Trump saw the backlash to his seeming honesty, he and his staff backtracked to the recommendation line.


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