Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Trump, GOP control FBI chief pick despite Democrats' calls

Freda Brock | 18 May, 2017, 11:14

US President Donald Trump has warned fired Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey against leaking material to the media.

President Donald Trump is considering almost a dozen candidates to succeed Comey, choosing from a group that includes several lawmakers, attorneys and law enforcement officials.

Did Donald Trump tape James Comey, or vice versa?

While Trump has continued to cast doubt on the intelligence community's findings that Russian Federation sought to influence the US elections to benefit his campaign, the intelligence leaders were unanimous in their assessment that Russian Federation had indeed interfered with the election.

The next director will immediately be confronted with oversight of an FBI investigation into possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, an inquiry the bureau's acting head, Andrew McCabe, has called "highly significant".

Donald Trump and the White House can not get their stories over the firing of FBI Director James Comey straight, and now it appears that Trump's claim that Comey sought a meeting with him-and what happened in that meeting-is false.

Nearly half of those polled (46%) from May 11-13 said they believed the decision to dismiss Comey was motivated by how the FBI has dealt with the investigation into Russia's alleged involvement in the US election. Clapper said America's founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now under assault and "eroding".

Initially, the White House said the firing was at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The first line of Mr Trump's letter sacking Mr Comey refers to a memo written by Mr Rosenstein and says: "I have accepted their recommendation". "Let's say I did it on January 20, the opening, right, and that would have been the big story as opposed to the inauguration".

Do You Agree With Lonzo Ball's Top 5 Rappers Of All Time?
On Sunday, the Boston Celtics, the top team in the NBA Eastern Conference, won Game 7 and moved on to the Conference Finals. The Celtics missed 11 of their first 14 shots and trailed 22-9 with four minutes left in the first quarter.

The president also suggested via Twitter that he may have "tapes" of private conversations with Comey, evoking echoes of Watergate and demands by Democrats that he produce what could be critical evidence.

But he also weakened an Obama-era lobbying restriction that barred lobbyists from taking a job within an agency they had tried to influence in the last two years, which gives lobbyists more power to take jobs in the Trump White House as soon as they quit from their lobbying roles.

Spicer also denied reports that Trump solicited a loyalty pledge from Comey during their dinner earlier this year. "I actually asked him if I were under investigation", Trump claimed.

"As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with flawless accuracy!"

UPDATE: In an interview with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro set to air Saturday, Donald Trump says he thinks "it's a good idea" to eliminate press briefings, in part because his aides get "beat up".

The reference to tapes has done nothing to silence the echoes of the Watergate affair that have resounded around the Russian interference inquiry.

Still, Trump's comments about "tapes" - which echoed the secret Watergate recordings made by ousted former President Richard Nixon - immediately drew sharp rebukes from Capitol Hill.

Democrats irate over Comey's abrupt ouster, and concerned by the inclusion of politicians on the list of possible replacements, are demanding Trump not select a partisan leader.

"There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date", acting director Andrew McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a hearing that capped two days of high drama provoked by the dismissal.

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