Wednesday, 20 September, 2017

Majority of Americans Distrust Ex-FBI Director Comey, Trump on Russia Probe

Christy Curtis | 08 June, 2017, 00:43

According to anonymous associates close to Coats, Coats recalled after an intelligence briefing wrapped up with several agencies, President Trump asked everyone to leave but him and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Fired FBI Director James Comey says Donald Trump told him the Russian Federation investigation was creating a "cloud" over his presidency.

However, Comey has told associates he will not corroborate Trump's claim that on three separate occasions Comey told the president he was not under investigation as part of the probe into Russian meddling in the US election, a source familiar the former director's thinking told ABC News.

"The president appeared to threaten him in their last phone call on April 11: "(Trump said), 'I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.' I did not reply or ask him what he meant by 'that thing.'. A number of Republicans have argued that Trump was "just spouting off", or was even joking, when he reportedly asked Comey to end his investigation into Flynn.

Comey was sacked by Trump in May. A follow-up session behind closed doors is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Trump then asked Comey for his help to "lift the cloud" created over his administration by the FBI's Russian Federation probe, according to the remarks.

The events involving Coats show the president went further than just asking intelligence officials to deny publicly the existence of any evidence showing collusion during the 2016 election, as The Washington Post reported in May.

Comey explained to Trump that he had breifed congressional leadership that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not personally investigating Trump, who replied, "We need to get that fact out".

Trump has frequently blasted the investigations, calling them a "witch hunt," taking aim at Democrats, who he says have built the probes up because they're frustrated they lost in November, and at the media for reporting legitimate news over related developments. "Director Comey's testimony reconfirmed what the president has been saying all along - he was never under investigation". "He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it".

Sixty percent of Americans believe that President Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in order to "protect himself", rather than "for the good of the country", a new ABC News/Washington Post poll has found.

Comey was given the go-ahead to deliver potentially explosive testimony after the White House announced it would not use its executive privilege to block his appearance, less than a month after he was controversially sacked by the president. According to a summary of a meeting Mr. Trump had with Russian officials that was obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Trump said that firing Comey relieved "great pressure" on him and called Comey "crazy" and "a real nut job".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the second-ranking official at the Department of Justice who signed a letter recommending Comey's dismissal, will testify a day ahead of Comey's own hotly anticipated testimony. Comey was away in the US West Coast when he saw the news on telly and thought it was a joke.

However, legal sources expect Comey will likely hold back from accusing Trump of trying to interfere with the FBI investigation.

Comey describes at length a February 14 meeting in the Oval Office in which he believed Trump asked him to drop any investigation of fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S.

"I have not had that discussion with him", Spicer said overnight.

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