Sen. Mike Lee Says Trump Is 'Fully Cooperating' With Russia Investigation

Fernando Stephens
May 20, 2017

Despite the White House's initial assertion that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey was dismissed Tuesday over mishandling the Hillary Clinton email case, United States President Donald Trump on Thursday told NBC that "this Russian Federation thing" was among his reasons, mentioning Comey's repeated claims that he, Trump, was not being investigated. Experts say the alleged conversations raise concerns about potential intimidation and conflicts of interest.

The development comes as the Trump administration faces questions over why and how the president fired Comey last week as the FBI was investigating whether Trump's presidential campaign was connected to Russian meddling in the election.

The article was based on interviews with two Comey associates whom he had told of the meeting, which they said Trump had requested. Asking such a question "would come close to bribery... or at least obstruction of justice, which Comey would've had to be an idiot to fall for by offering the assurance sought", Tribe said.

The next director will immediately be confronted with oversight of an FBI investigation into possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, an inquiry the bureau's acting head, Andrew McCabe, has called "highly significant".

As Trump works to fast-track Comey's successor, lawmakers from both parties urged him to steer clear of any politicians for the job and say he must "clean up the mess that he mostly created".

Lee recently suggested that Trump replace Comey with D.C. Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland, a move that would give Trump the opportunity to fill Garland's current post with a conservative judge. John Conyers and Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, in a letter to White House Counsel Don McGahn.

"We have got to make sure that these tapes, if they exist, don't mysteriously disappear", Warner said, adding that he hopes to have Comey testify in a public hearing before his committee.

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Donald Trump warned his sacked Federal Bureau of Investigation director not to talk to the press yesterday, in a morning Twitter tirade that painted a picture of a president under siege and lashing out.

Furious with the news coverage of the White House's shifting explanations on Comey's sacking, Trump lashed out, suggesting the media was wrong to expect his spokespeople to be 100 percent accurate. Trump calls Comey over to where he is standing in the Blue Room to offer a handshake and a partial hug, then comments that Comey has "become more famous than me". "If the election were on October 27, I would have been your president", she tells a women's luncheon in NY.

The FBI probe and parallel congressional investigations have hung over Trump's presidency since he took office in January and threaten to overwhelm his policy priorities.

President Trump also told NBC's Lester Holt that, despite statements to the contrary by Vice President Pence and Sean Spicer, recommendations from deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein did not have anything to do with his decision, which he made before receiving Rosenstein's memo. Instead, they said, the president fired Comey on the advice of senior members of the Justice Department, who anxious about his handling of a 2016 investigation into Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton.

In an interview with Fox News Friday, Trump declined to comment on whether he has listening devices in the White House.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted last week found that 62% of Republicans and just 16% of Democrats thought Trump was right to fire Comey, while 58% of Republicans and just 9% of Democrats told NBC they approved of Trump's decision. The White House denies the account.

Other reports by BadHub

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