Clapper: US govt 'under assault' by Trump after Comey firing

  • Clapper: US govt 'under assault' by Trump after Comey firing

Clapper: US govt 'under assault' by Trump after Comey firing

If so, President Donald Trump is following a problematic precedent.

During the campaign, Sessions, who was then a US senator, and Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page also met with Kislyak - as did Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.

The position of the FBI director was vacated Tuesday after Trump fired Comey, which has sent shockwaves through Washington as critics say the move was an attempt to undermine an ongoing FBI investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, an accusation the White House denied.

For the first time since an Oval Office taping system was removed by President Richard Nixon's chief of staff almost 44 years ago, a president has hinted that White House conversations might again be secretly recorded.

So far 14 people - lawmakers, attorneys and law enforcement officials among them - have emerged as candidates.

Trump "asked them for their recommendation" then "asked them to put that recommendation in writing", she said. If the White House's original statement, is true, it means that Trump not only lied during his interview, but that Sessions did not honor his commitment to stay uninvolved from the investigation.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that the Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, needs Comey to appear before it to "clear the air". U.S. presidents are normally at pains to avoid any suggestion of interference or even commenting on ongoing investigations. The New York Times first reported the memo Tuesday and a source familiar with the matter confirmed the contents of the memo to CNN.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined comment.

Trump told Fox News in an interview he did not think an independent probe was necessary. But Rosenstein, a career federal prosecutor who was previously respected by both Democrats and Republicans, had been used to mislead the press and the public on why Comey was sacked.

Durbin said Trump's tweet on Friday "could be construed as threatening a witness in this investigation, which is another violation of federal law".

The Republican is a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and served as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. They claimed that Trump had fired Comey based on his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and because numerous FBI agents and employees were dispirited by Comey's actions.

May 16, 2017: A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Comey wrote a memo after the February 14 meeting with the president that said Trump had asked him to shut down the FBI investigation into Flynn.

Asked by Pirro if Spicer would remain on the job, Mr. Trump said that "he's doing a good job but he gets beat up".

The White House has spent the past two days trying to adjust their spin to accommodate reality.

"It is absolutely untrue that Jim asked to have dinner or that he asked to have his job", the source said. Briefing reporters at the same time Trump spoke in the East Room Friday, press secretary Sean Spicer struggled to explain multiple shifts in the timeline surrounding Comey's firing or the motivations behind it.

Trump's surrogates, including Vice President Mike Pence, have struggled to keep up with the shifting narrative on how and why the decision was made, and Trump tweeted Friday it was "not possible" for his team to recount details and talking points with "perfect accuracy". Eight met at the Justice Department on Saturday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. At a White House news conference, Trump referred to his November 2016 victory, in which he received 304 electoral votes, as "the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan", who was re-elected in 1984.

Comey has been tight-lipped about the FBI's probe of Russian interference, which has included a search for evidence that hackers or Russian collaborators may have colluded with the Trump campaign or other Trump associates. A memo that Comey wrote after the meeting, which became public May 16, says Trump asked him to shut down the FBI investigation into Flynn and his Russian Federation ties.

From the start, that felt like tenuous spin, especially considering that Trump had praised Comey effusively when the FBI director reopened the investigation in late October after new emails had been found on a computer belonging to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.