Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Senior White House adviser under scrutiny in Russia investigation, Washington Post says

On Friday, the so-called liberal media rubbed it in, with Time magazine publishing a cover story on the subject showing a Kremlin makeover of the White House with St Basil's Cathedral looming over 1600, Pennsylvania Avenue.

In another development, the Washington Post reported that a current White House official is a "significant person of interest" in the investigation into alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Rosenstein made it abundantly clear to the lawmakers that he drafted his memo only after Trump told him of his plans to dismiss the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

When Rosenstein was nominated for the deputy AG role, Comey reportedly told a confidante, "I have some concerns".

And, Pelosi says that Trump has left himself "very vulnerable personally" if he in fact asked Comey to end an investigation of adviser Michael Flynn. "He was insane, a real nut job".

That means congressional committees might have a tough time getting witnesses to testify or obtaining access to other evidence. But the takeaway, as it has been for some time, is that the president's primary consideration in firing the FBI director was the FBI's Russian Federation investigation.

About this item, Spicer said, "As the President has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity".

Jared Kushner, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are current Trump administration officials who have acknowledged contact with Russian officials, according to the report.

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The White House has disputed Comey's account of his February conversation with Trump concerning Flynn but has not offered specifics. The legal memo written by Rosenstein and the subsequent emergence of Comey's notes that said Trump had tried to convince Comey to close down the Russian Federation investigation eliminated any alternative.

The Times cited a document summarizing the meeting which it said was provided by a government official. And Comey has long arms, so Comey said he preemptively reached out for a handshake and grabbed the president's hand.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer called the president's rhetoric part of his deal-making.

It came two days after Mr Rosenstein named Mr Mueller as a special counsel to investigate possible co-ordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election. The next day, Comey was dismissed and the deputy attorney general sent his memo to the president who, Rosenstein said, had "sought [his] advice and input".

But Rosenstein did not disclose further details about the memo he wrote, according to House members on Friday. But lawmakers generally have voiced confidence in Rosenstein's newly appointed special counsel to lead the Russian Federation meddling investigation, Robert Mueller.

But what are we missing in all this breaking news? Rosenstein also expressed discomfort with that disclosure.

"My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said.

But he added: "I wrote it". Lindsey Graham said he came away with the understanding that Mr. Mueller's probe will be treated "as if it may be a criminal investigation".

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