Trump Boasted About Firing 'Nut Job' Comey to Russian Officials

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23 May, 2017

Rosenstein's appearance before the House comes one day after privately briefing the entire Senate.

A key issue Mueller may have to tackle is whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice, an offense that could be used in any effort in the Republican-led Congress to impeach him and remove him from office.

President Donald Trump told Russian diplomats last week his firing of "nut job" James Comey had eased the pressure on him, even as the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation had moved into the White House, according to reports Friday that pursued the president as he began his maiden foreign trip.

Comey told Trump he should not contact him directly about FBI investigations but follow procedure and have the White House counsel ask the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI, the Times reported. President Trump has been narrowing a short list and interviewing candidates to replace Comey, whom Trump fired on May 9. In more of his unfortunate tweets, Trump called the investigation "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history" and said of himself that "no politician. has been treated worse or more unfairly".

In another news bomblet dropped on Friday afternoon, the turfed top-cop announced he will testify in an open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee at a date to be announced later this month. "That's taken off", Trump continued, adding that, "I'm not under investigation". According to Comey's memo, the president had made his feelings known on the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn regarding his own ties to Russian Federation.

Well, according to a new report from The Washington Post, people familiar with the investigation say that a current senior administration official has been identified as a person of interest in the probe.

Equally intriguing was the question of where these reports are coming from. "He was insane, a real nut job", Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official.

The timing is especially damaging.

But at the very least, it's getting tougher and tougher for Trump to make the claim that this is a complete nothing-burger, conjured from nothing more than Democrats' hard feelings about losing the 2016 election - which Trump argued Thursday.

More news: UN is no help with North Korea

Trump is delivering an address on Islam Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

Following additional calls from several members of Congress for Comey to testify, Comey reiterated his willingness, but until now there was no official commitment.

Donald Trump's impulsive and ill-conceived conduct is turning aspects of his nascent presidency into a circus the country doesn't need. A Republican staffer concurred: "The tide seems to be changing in town, right?"

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein says he talked about firing James Comey long before he wrote the memo that sealed Comey's fate.

Another trouble spot for Trump has to do with finances. "Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks".

Nonetheless, Trump retains a powerful retinue of defenders. He has also had the full-throated backing of conservative media.

The news headlines out of Washington this week have been flashy and relentless.

Trump met with the Russians on May 10, the day after he fired Comey. They argue that the priority should be to investigate the case, build one if there is one, and revisit the matter when appropriate. "But beyond that, we're going to have to work this thing out".


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