New York Times quotes Trump telling Russians Comey was a 'nut job'
20 May, 2017, 10:11 | Author: Valerie Burke
During his meeting with Russian officials last week, President Trump said recently fired FBI Director James Comey was a "nut job" whose ouster relieved "great pressure" on him, according to a report Friday in the New York Times.
"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage with negotiate with Russian Federation", said Spicer.
Spicer also told the Times: "The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it".
Comey, who was leading an FBI investigation into Trump's campaign team and whether it colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election, was sacked earlier this month. "He was insane, a real nutjob", the newspaper reported, referring to a summary of the conversation. It says the president then told Russia's foreign minister and ambassador that he "faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".
The "nutjob" remarks are not the first things Trump said during his Lavrov meeting that have gained widespread attention. The president's son-in-law initially omitted contacts with foreign leaders from a national security questionnaire, though his lawyer has said publicly he submitted the form prematurely and informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation soon after he would provide an update.
Even if the Justice Department granted a waiver, the White House would consider using the ethics rule to create doubt about Mueller's ability to do his job fairly, the sources said.
"Moreover, I consulted my staff and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and none of them recalls such a request".
Far from relieving pressure, that firing, and a subsequent report that Trump had asked Comey to stop an investigation in disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn, ratcheted up the probe.
It has also been reported that Trump had told the Russians classified information about military operations involving Isis.
A current, senior White House adviser - not merely another former campaign aide or distant associate of President Trump - has been identified by federal investigators as a significant person of interest in a probe aimed at determining whether Trump's political team colluded with Russian Federation to meddle in the 2016 election. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing. After learning about Trump's decision to fire Comey, Rosenstein said he wrote a "brief memorandum to the Attorney General" outlining his "longstanding concerns" about Comey's previous behavior.
On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI head Robert Mueller to lead the federal investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election as special counsel.
When he announced Mueller's appointment this week, Rosenstein said Mueller will have "all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation". The White House has said the firing was unrelated to the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.
Chaffetz has scheduled a hearing on Comey's firing next Wednesday, although it's not clear if Comey will testify. "I stand by it", Rosenstein said in his two separate briefings on Comey's firing, one to the Senate yesterday and the other to the House today.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has told members of Congress he stands by a memo he wrote that preceded the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey.
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Rosenstein said he consulted his staff as well as Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and none of them recalled such a request. But Trump himself has already said that he was going to fire Comey regardless of any recommendation by the Justice Department.
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