In a meeting with Russian officials one day after he abruptly fired James Comey, President Donald Trump expressed relief about being rid of the “real nut job” former FBI director, saying it took “great pressure” off him, according to a Friday report in the New York Times.
An unnamed American official read out a summary of the meeting to the Times.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to the document summarizing the meeting. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
“I’m not under investigation,” the President reportedly told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in a May 10 meeting in the Oval Office.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the accuracy of Trump’s quotes in a statement to the Times.
Former FBI director James B. Comey had publicly confirmed the existence of the investigation in March.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said, “I can’t confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of investigations or targets of investigations.” An FBI spokesman declined to comment.
The White House denied contact with Russian officials during the campaign in January, the report notes. At the time, Vice President-elect Mike Pence told CBS's "Face the Nation" that there was no contact between the Trump team and Russian officials during the election campaign.
"Of course not," Pence said when asked whether anyone from the campaign was ever in touch with Russia. "I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy."
In that same interview, Pence said that Flynn's conversations with Kislyak during the transition "had nothing whatsoever to do with [U.S.] sanctions (against Russia)," a statement that later turned out to be false, and which cost Flynn his job.
HIRONO: Yes. And so speaking of the independence of not just the judiciary but I’d like you to clarify the FBI’s independence from the DOJ apparatus. Can the FBI conduct an investigation independent from the department of Justice. Or does the FBI have to disclose all it’s investigations to the DOJ? And does it have to get the Attorney General’s consent?
COMEY: Well we work with the Department of Justice, whether that’s main justice or U.S. attorney’s offices on all of our investigations. And so we work with them and so in a legal sense we’re not independent of the department of justice. We are spiritually, culturally pretty independent group and that’s the way you would want tit. But yes, we work with the Department of Justice on all of our investigations.
HIRONO: So if the Attorney General or senior officials at the Department of Justice opposes a specific investigation, can they halt that FBI investigation?
COMEY: In theory yes.
HIRONO: Has it happened?
COMEY: Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something that — without an appropriate purpose. I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don’t see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience.
One can see why Chaffetz has some skepticism over the reports, and it’s not just from the sourcing of the stories. Had Comey considered Trump’s actions to be improper attempts to politically interfere with his probe of Michael Flynn, then not only would he have been duty bound to report it at that time to Congress, but he would also have had to answer Hirono’s direct question in the affirmative. That doesn’t mean that Trump’s suggestion wasn’t inappropriate (if it happened as reports say) but that even three months later Comey didn’t see it as an attempt at political interference.
Ask John McCain how that approach worked with the MSM when he ran for the presidency...
An article published on February 21, 2008, about Senator John McCain and his record as an ethics reformer who was at times blind to potential conflicts of interest included references to Vicki Iseman, a Washington lobbyist. The article did not state, and The Times did not intend to conclude, that Ms. Iseman had engaged in a romantic affair with Senator McCain or an unethical relationship on behalf of her clients in breach of the public trust.
What the article set out to do, and did, was to establish that Senator McCain - a man whose career was ensnared by scandal and then rebuilt on a reputation for avoiding even the appearance of impropriety - was sometimes careless of that reputation. The story reported that a senator who cast himself as the scourge of lobbyists rode on the private jets of business executives with interests before his committee, and that a senator who disdained the influence of corporate money accepted corporate money to support that very cause....The point of all this was that Mr. McCain, confident that he was above reproach, sometimes demonstrated, in the words of a friend quoted in the story, "imprudence or recklessness." That seemed to us then, and seems to us now, an important thing for voters to know about a man who aspired to become president of the United States.
Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, "Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain…if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?" This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.
"I have carefully avoided situations that might even tangentially be construed as a less than proper use of my office," McCain and co-author Mark Salter wrote of the lessons he learned. "I have refrained from intervening with regulators or supporting legislation or advocating anything for any purpose that doesn't serve an obvious public interest and that isn't in accord with my general governing philosophy."
Quote:... according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official.
Ooooh. A DOCUMENT, eh!? Ya can't question THAT. This aint no "anonymous source." It's a DOCUMENT.
...oftentimes they give us opinions that "we [the DOJ] don’t see a case there" and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal.
The F.B.I. warned a Republican congressman in 2012 that Russian spies were trying to recruit him, officials said, an example of how aggressively Russian agents have tried to influence Washington politics.
The congressman, Dana Rohrabacher of California, has been known for years as one of Moscow’s biggest defenders in Washington and as a vocal opponent of American economic sanctions against Russia. He claims to have lost a drunken arm-wrestling match with the current Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, in the 1990s. He is one of President Trump’s staunchest allies on Capitol Hill.
As a newly appointed special counsel investigates connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, the warning to Mr. Rohrabacher shows that the F.B.I. has for years viewed Russian spies, sometimes posing as diplomats, as having a hand in Washington.
Mr. Rohrabacher was drawn into the maelstrom this week when The Washington Post reported on an audio recording of Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House majority leader, saying last year, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Mr. McCarthy said on Wednesday that he had made a joke that landed poorly.
President Donald Trump’s attorneys initially wanted him to submit an updated financial disclosure without certifying the information as true, according to correspondence with the Office of Government Ethics.
So, slander and libel are "leaks?"
You once again demonstrate why aint nobody ever gunna accuse you of being the brightest candle on the birthday cake, eh, Blue?
Collusion nd other things are what the investigations are about, lets see what comes out of it.
Why does Trump give the appearance that hes trying to hide something.
Think very carefully your wish to unseat a duly elected politician because you just don't like him. For if we can do it to a Republican now, it will be very easy to to it to the next Democrat.
Why do you humor the bottom-feeding ogre?
Question for the trumpees, if these leaks concern "fake news," as Trump has characterized them, are they really leaks? Why do you all get your panties in a twist over "fake news?"
layman wrote:InfraBlue wrote:Question for the trumpees, if these leaks concern "fake news," as Trump has characterized them, are they really leaks? Why do you all get your panties in a twist over "fake news?"
No offense, Blue, but that is possibly one of the dumbest questions ever asked in this forum.
Puzzle me this, willya? Why in the WORLD are there laws against slander and libel? I just can't see any possible reason.
So, slander and libel are "leaks?"
This is along the lines of illegal aliens, criminals and rapists being "Mexican," right?