Trump said firing Comey relieved 'great pressure'

Trump said firing Comey relieved 'great pressure'
Trump said firing Comey relieved 'great pressure'
Author

25 May, 2017

"On May 8, I learned that President Trump meant to remove Director Comey and sought my advice and input".

The newspaper based its report on unnamed "people familiar with the matter" and did not identify the individual now under Federal Bureau of Investigation scrutiny. The report did not name the adviser.

Trump's Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak came one day after Comey was sacked.

In the aftermath of Comey's firing, Trump and his aides cited Rosenstein's memo as contributing to his decision, while Democrats have criticized the deputy attorney general for agreeing to write it.

Trump's comments about Comey are not the only controversial remarks he made during that meeting. By several senators' accounts, he contradicted Trump's statements that Rosenstein's written criticism of FBI Director James Comey had been a factor in Comey's recent firing by the president.

After Rosenstein briefed Senators about the investigation on Capitol Hill Thursday, some senators walked away with the impression that it had become criminal in nature.

Trump also later admitted that the ongoing Russian Federation investigation and possible ties between his campaign associates also played a role in his decision to fire Comey.

Trump clearly knew what he wanted to say as he took a few questions at a news briefing with visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

White House officials did not deny either story, but only stressed that Trump and his staff had no collusion with Russian Federation. But lawmakers at both congressional sessions expressed frustration that Rosenstein would say little in answer to their questions about his actions - or others' - before Comey's firing.

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"There was considerable frustration in the room", said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., a member of the Armed Services Committee.

Flynn had reportedly signaled to the ambassador that Russian Federation could expect easing of USA sanctions under the new administration.

Rosenstein stood by his decision: "I wrote it". And he said he knew Trump already meant to fire Comey before he wrote the memo.

"My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said. But he added, "I wrote it". Rosenstein denounced that as "profoundly wrong and unfair".

Combative and complaining, Trump fell short Thursday in trying to resolve investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office.

He said he respected the special counsel appointment but also said it "hurts our country terribly".

Contradicting reports that Comey may have been fired after seeking additional resources for the Russian Federation probe, Rosenstein wrote that he, his staff and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe weren't aware of any such request. Sessions has recused himself from the Trump-Russia probe, citing his close involvement in the Trump campaign previous year.

Rosenstein denied media reports from last week that Comey had asked him for additional resources for his investigation before Trump fired him.


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