Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump tells Russians Comey was a 'nut job'

Trump tells Russians Comey was a 'nut job'

Wittes also shared Comey's side of a phone call the Federal Bureau of Investigation director had with the President, which Comey described "as weird for how substance-less it was" and included "an undercurrent of Trump's trying to get him to kiss the ring".

Wittes claims that Comey repeatedly tried to "train" the Trump administration to only contact him through proper channels and said the White House was negligent about how involved a president should be in specific investigations.

That does absolutely nothing to help Trump with the pervasive speculation that he fired Comey because of the investigation into his Russian ties.

It's not clear from Wittes's report whether Comey was joking.

Trump last week fired FBI Director James Comey amid a bureau investigation into whether Trump or his advisers worked with Russian Federation to interfere in the November election. The White House pointed to this recommendation as the reason that Mr. Trump chose to fire Mr. Comey, although Mr. Trump later said in an interview that he had already made a decision to fire Mr. Comey after taking office.

"By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia", Spicer said. But the longer-term consequences will be to continue the political fighting, perhaps even prolong it, and to expand the scope of the controversies under investigation.

Meanwhile, on Friday evening the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed that Mr Comey would testify in "open session" about the investigation into possible links between the Trump team and Russian officials. Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller will enjoy certain protections against removal by Rosenstein.

But the president undercut that argument a day later, telling NBC News, "When I chose to just do it, I said to myself - I said, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story".

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel has drawn generally favorable comments from Democrats and from some Republicans as well. "There definitely wasn't much new", said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). "My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said. I've read all the stuff, I read the stuff you wrote.

This development comes on the heels of former FBI Director Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel for the investigation.

Asked point-blank if he'd done anything that might merit prosecution or even impeachment, Trump said no - and then added of the lingering allegations and questions: "I think it's totally ridiculous".

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