Trump Tells Russians Comey Ouster Eased Pressure on Probe

20 May, 2017, 10:44 | Author: Valerie Burke
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'I informed the senior attorney that the president was going to remove Director Comey, that I was writing a memorandum to the attorney general summarizing my own concerns and that I wanted to confirm that everything in my memorandum was accurate, ' Rosenstein said. Part of the reason was that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recently recused himself from the investigation.

But Rosenstein added: "I wrote it".

"I thought the July 5 press conference was profoundly wrong and unfair both to the Department of Justice and Secretary Clinton", said Rosenstein, adding, "It violated deeply ingrained rules and traditions, and it guaranteed that some people would accuse the Federal Bureau of Investigation of interfering in the election".

The White House document that contained Trump's comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting.

And there's more trouble for the White House on the horizon.

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. But the president undercut that argument a day later, telling NBC News, "When I chose to just do it, I said to myself - I said, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story".

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.

"Did you at any time urge former FBI Director James Comey, in any way, shape or form, to close or to back down the investigation into Michael Flynn". Though the story has evolved over the last few days, Mr. Trump has said that "very strong recommendation from the Deputy Attorney General" played a role in his decision to terminate Comey.

While not confirmed by the White House, this plan of action would be a major attempt to weaken the investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties with foreign actors.

Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Russian officials about the "great pressure" he was under, another USA official defended the president to the Times, suggesting that Trump's objective was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions on certain issues.

The hearing will be scheduled after the May 29 Memorial Day holiday, the committee said in a statement. But Rosenstein's memo criticizing Comey never explicitly recommended that he be axed, and Trump was soon publicly declaring that he had made his decision before the document was ever drafted. "I believe it. I stand by it".

Trump has reacted furiously to the appointment. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States.

"Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader", Rosenstein said.

Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no - and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: "I think it's totally ridiculous". The United States government officially announced past year that Russian Federation had meddled in the 2016 election.

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