Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Comey Firing Has No Impact on Russia Probe — Acting FBI Chief


By Thursday, President Trump simply broke the spin.

"I'm not under investigation", Trump responded. But the acting director's contradiction of the White House version of events raises even more questions about the real reasons that Trump fired Comey.

"That is not accurate", McCabe said in response to a senator's question. And just as in Nixon's Saturday night massacre, in which he fired his attorney general in the face of the Watergate investigation, who knows if we'll now see mass resignations from other government officials.

Trump also revealed that he asked Comey if he, Trump, was under investigation, which seems like it would be a violation of some kind, and was told no. The Trump administration says no.

Democrats have said the FBI's work will now be hopelessly tainted and demanded a special prosecutor akin to those appointed during Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal or the run-up to Bill Clinton's impeachment. He later told reporters that the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation "wasn't doing a good job".

A majority of likely voters also believe allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to interfere with the presidential election is a serious issue, and Comey's firing makes them less confident in the prospect of a fair investigation. The investigation has shadowed Trump from the outset of his presidency, though he's denied any ties to Russian Federation or knowledge of any campaign coordination with Moscow. He'd made sure Comey knew he was hoping for that statement, but Comey had refused to do it. The president, as White House officials explained later, was inclined to remove him from his post.

The statement echoed the statement Trump released when he fired Comey on Tuesday.

First, McCabe said he was unaware of any such request.

Trump's account differs from what his surrogates initially said on Tuesday, that he was simply accepting recommendations from the Department of Justice.

"We had a very nice dinner at the White House very early on". He added he supported Trump's decision "100%". Republican leaders brushed off the idea as unnecessary. Although Trump thought Comey went too easy on Clinton, Rosenstein's memo made the case that Comey's public declarations about the Clinton investigation were unfair to her.

South Korean president 'may visit Pyongyang'
Mr Trump invited Democratic party leader Mr Moon to visit the United States "as early as possible". It says he is a North Korean resident of Pyongyang who worked for a time in the Russian Far East.

Democrats, as well as a few Republicans, have criticised the abrupt firing of Mr Comey, saying that they are troubled by the reasoning and timing of the FBI Director's termination. "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date".

On Monday, former acting attorney general Sally Yates told a Senate panel she met twice with senior White House staff in late January to inform them of Flynn's deception and warn that he could be subject to blackmail by Russian Federation.

The Associated Press reported that Comey sought additional resources for the Russian Federation investigation in the days before he was sacked.

But Rosenstein's own role in Comey's firing became increasingly murky Wednesday. It would have been highly inappropriate to discuss an active investigation and sources close to Comey said he knows better than anyone that one never knows how a probe will end until it's over. Trump had thanked Comey in his letter dismissing him from his position for telling him he was not under investigation.

And he requested significantly more resources, briefed key senators of that Monday and was sacked Tuesday.

At the White House, Mr Trump shrugged off accusations of presidential interference in a counterintelligence investigation. The White House informed Comey by sending him an email with several documents, including Rosenstein's memo.

White House and other United States officials insisted on anonymity to disclose private conversations. Rather than firing Comey because of Rod Rosenstein's report, Trump admit that he was going to fire Comey no matter what.

AP writers Darlene Superville, Ken Thomas, Vivian Salama, Catherine Lucey and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

HOLT: You had made the decision before they came in the room? "It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply".

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