Friday, 17 August, 2018

Tillerson: Trump told Russians about Comey to show he's not distracted

Kenny Thornton | 22 May, 2017, 01:27

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a member of that committee, said he wants to press Comey as to whether he ever believed the White House was interfering with his work, in light of a spate of news reports that Comey had kept detailed records of his interactions with Trump.

"The president, I think, reemphasized the message to the Russians that the relationship is at a low point", Tillerson added.

The White House has said the firing was unrelated to the FBI's Russia investigation, though officials did not deny the Times report that Trump was critical of Comey to the Russians the day after he fired him.

President Trump was hit with another set of Russia-related allegations late Friday moments after departing on his first foreign trip as commander-in-chief, with one report claiming the president trash-talked James Comey in a meeting with Moscow dignitaries and another saying the Russian Federation probe has reached a current White House official.

After Comey's ouster, several reports emerged about Trump discussing firing of FBI Director with senior Russian officials in the Oval Office and saying "I just fired the head of the FBI, he was insane, a real nut job".

Later, however, Trump said that he had already made the decision to fire Comey before getting Sessions' and Rosenstein's input. One of those memos reportedly details a February meeting in which Trump asked Comey to drop the FBI's investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Qantas A380 turns back to LA after engine fails
A passenger on the flight who asked not be named told the Herald Sun the 'engine blew up in flames two hours into the flight'. There was no safety risk at any time.

Late Friday, the Senate intelligence committee announced that Comey had agreed to testify at an open hearing at an undetermined date after Memorial Day.

A combination of file photos shows Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attending a news conference in Moscow, Russia, November 18, 2015, and U.S. President Donald Trump posing for a photo in New York City, May 17, 2016. But Trump supporters continue to defend him amid daily leaks emanating from the White House, leaks that have angered the President's inner circle.

During his meetings with lawmakers, Mr Rosenstein said that his conversations with Mr Sessions revealed his long-held belief that Mr Comey should be replaced, based on his public statements related to the investigation of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, beginning in July past year.

A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said he would not discuss information provided in classified briefings and said the House Oversight committee had already asked for documents related to Comey's firing. Rosenstein said that though he was personally fond of Comey, "I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader".

"I just couldn't vote for Trump", he said.

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