Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Firestorm over Comey's dismissal adds to Trump frustrations


Clapper spoke following Trump's sudden firing of Comey last week, which drew sharp criticism because it came amid the FBI's probe into Russian Federation meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the search for a new FBI director is moving "very rapidly" following his decision last week to fire James Comey, who was leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in last year's presidential election and links between Trump campaign aides and Moscow interests. When asked whether the Russian probe played a part in Comey's firing, Pence said on Wednesday "that's not what this is about".

Press aides have repeatedly insisted that Mr Trump chose to dismiss Mr Comey on the advice of Rod Rosenstein, the United States deputy attorney general.

When questioned on Friday about the president's tweet, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said, "The president has nothing further to add on that". Perhaps he thought he could rely on his crack White House communications team to deal with any blowback. Democrats have called for a special prosecutor to look into the Russian Federation matter. "I won't talk about that", Trump said.

The dinner came in the early days of Trump's administration, as the FBI was investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible ties to Trump's campaign. "I think the White House needs to be open and transparent about whats going on, too".

Graham also said he would consider a special prosecutor if Comey's recounting of the meeting was accurate.

"If these reports are true, the President's brazen attempt to shut down the FBI's investigation of Michael Flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

"I was going to fire Comey", Trump said.

What we know about the Russia-Trump investigation
Eric Freedman, a Hofstra University law professor, has long believed that a president can be prosecuted while in office. Party support that dips into the 70 per cent range is "where landslide elections start to occur", Huder says.

And of course, if Trump is lying about the assurances from Comey, it remains possible that he was under investigation as he pressed the FBI director for information.

Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr said he doesn't think the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation was the reason for the firing.

The swirling controversy has obliterated any momentum from the House passage of the Republican health care bill last week and threatens to overshadow Trump's first global trip, beginning next week, in which the president will meet with leaders in both the Middle East and Europe.

Mr Trump showed no concern that the request might be viewed as interference in an active Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.

"It's now time to pick somebody who comes from within the ranks, or is of such a reputation who has no political background at all who can go into the job from day one", the South Carolina Republican said. "This demands a serious, down-the-middle investigation", he said. And the Democrats like him.

The warning appeared to suggest that if Comey gave his version of events, the administration might produce tapes of conversations to counter that, although it was not clear if such tapes exist.

However, Mr. Trump told NBC News Thursday he had already made a decision to dismiss Comey before he met with Rosenstein Monday.

Mason said the WHCA "would object to any move that would threaten those constitutionally protected principles". The FBI director requires just a majority vote in the Senate, meaning Democrats would have to pull a few Republican votes along with them. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.

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