Trump denies asking Comey to end Flynn investigation

Vincent Carr
May 20, 2017

In some of the longest exchanges with reporters during a week filled with explosive headlines, including news that Comey had penned a memo documenting the president asking him to stop investigating Flynn, Trump said he thought the decision to fire Comey would be bipartisan, said repeatedly there was "no collusion" between his campaign and Russian Federation, and attempted to spin it as a partisan distraction.

In recent days, government leaks have produced stories about Trump revealing classified information to Russian diplomats, asking Comey to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and detailing Flynn's extensive communications with Russians, among many others.

The Times cited notes from a May 10 Oval Office meeting, the day after Trump fired Comey.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller after a succession of jarring developments that brought questions over Russia's alleged meddling in the election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign to a boil. The report did not name the adviser.

Trump also changed his story once again about the circumstances surrounding Comey's firing, returning again to the White House's original rationale that he based his decision on Rosenstein's recommendation.

Rosenstein, the No. 2 Justice Department official, named Mueller amid mounting pressure in Congress for an independent investigation beyond existing FBI and congressional probes into the Russian Federation issue.

As previously reported, Trump's team also set up a dinner meeting with Comey where the President is reported to have demanded loyalty of the FBI Director.

His reaction differed from Wednesday when he was quoted in a White House statement as saying: "I look forward to this matter concluding quickly". "I can't see anything that would make [the controversy] go away".

The Justice Department on Friday issued the text of Rosenstein's opening remarks for the briefings on Capitol Hill.

His appointment raises the stakes dramatically on the long-simmering allegations that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election and had connections with members of the Trump campaign. The trip represents a chance for Mr. Trump to shift the focus of daily headlines after more than a week of raging controversy, which began when the President fired Mr. Comey, the person overseeing the Russian Federation probe.

"He had to throw some brushback pitches to the administration", Wittes said, according to The New York Times. Democratic senators had been prepared to press him to appoint a special prosecutor, and his decision defused their complaints, leading to praise instead.

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Aguero was even dropped for a Champions League game at Barcelona in mid-October, a decision many could not understand. I don't know how many chances we created or how many times we arrived. "They had one chance and scored".

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", Spicer said. "This renewed my confidence that we should not have confidence in this administration".

"If they wanted me, I certainly would be honoured, but I really don't think that's going to happen", Mr Keating, 73, told the newspaper after his interview.

The White House has struggled since Comey's firing to explain the chain of events that led to it and who exactly made the decision.

"I'm not under investigation", he added.

"Believe me, there's no collusion", the president continued. Rosenstein denounced that as "profoundly wrong and unfair".

Trump has reacted furiously to the appointment.

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that former Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller has been given sweeping power to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, including potential links between Moscow and Trump campaign associates.

"We're going to have a director who's going to be outstanding, I'll be announcing that director very soon".

But he added a qualifier that seemed to leave open the question of others' involvement. Sessions has recused himself from the Trump-Russia probe, citing his close involvement in the Trump campaign a year ago.

Asked whether he urged Comey to ease up on the Flynn investigation, Trump said at a news conference, "No, no", before ordering the media to move on to the "next question".

Other reports by BadHub

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