Trump says 'made up' Russian Federation story part of decision to fire Comey
Trump says 'made up' Russian Federation story part of decision to fire Comey
Comey was investigating alleged Trump links to Russia
15 May, 2017, 00:01
Democrats have accused Trump of firing Comey in an effort to tamp down on the bureau's probe into Russian Federation, which Comey announced in March included looking at any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Led primarily by Democrats, senators are now asking Rosenstein to come back to Capitol Hill next week to explain his role in Comey's dismissal.
Similarly, both parties' leaders on the House Intelligence Committee, Reps. K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), warned in a statement that their panel "will be conducting rigorous oversight to ensure that the FBI's own investigation is not impeded or interfered with in any way".
McCabe called the investigation "highly significant" - another contradiction of the White House portrayal - and assured senators Comey's firing will not hinder it.
The White House appeared caught off guard by the intense response to Comey's firing, given that the FBI director had become a pariah among Democrats for his role in the Clinton investigation.
McCabe testified at an annual Senate hearing that reviews security threats around the globe.
"Taking Jim Comey out of that equation is not going to change anything in this investigation", Hosko said.
McCabe said the FBI would continue to vigorously pursue the Russian Federation investigation and would inform the committee if agents faced political interference from the White House. "I can tell you also that Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and still does to this day".
Later Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) excoriated the Trump administration for the mixed messaging surrounding Comey's firing and Rosenstein's role in it, noting on the Senate floor that "the story coming out of the White House about why Mr. Comey was sacked continues to change, and there are no good explanations for the changes".
Comey had also asked the Department of Justice for more resources for the Russian Federation investigation.
Comey requested such resources from the Justice Department, according to several people familiar with the discussion. The Justice Department denied reports that Rosenstein threatened to resign over the dispute. "The FBI has been in turmoil", Mr Trump told NBC News in his first interview since firing Mr Comey. "You know that. I know that".
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In testimony to two congressional committees since March, Comey confirmed that the FBI was conducting a counter-intelligence investigation aimed at some of Trump's aides, forcefully rejected Trump's claims that President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower, and said he was "mildly nauseous" at the thought his actions affected the election outcome.
Trump also described how he repeatedly pressed Comey for assurances he was not a target of the FBI investigation. Cause all it is, is an excuse but I said to myself, I might even lengthen out the investigation but I have to do the right thing for the American people.
"When I did this now I said, 'I probably maybe will confuse people". I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity. "But we had a very nice dinner". "The president's made a determination. we don't have the luxury of picking who we work with".
He said he could not comment on an ongoing investigation. Personally. I'm not talking about campaigns. I'm not talking about anything else.
Trump said he had asked Comey once over dinner and twice by telephone.
And in fact 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, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won".
Two weeks ago, Rod J. Rosenstein received the bipartisan confidence of the vast majority of the Senate during his confirmation as deputy attorney general.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee and a top member of the Intelligence Committee, said she has read Rosenstein's memo three times.
"Frankly, he'd been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, a sharply different explanation from the day before, when officials put the emphasis on new Justice complaints about Comey.
Republican chairman Burr asked McCabe whether he ever heard Comey tell Trump the president was not the subject of investigation.
"It is my opinion and belief that the FBI will continue to pursue this investigation completely and vigorously", he said.
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