Trump Told Russians He Fired 'Nut Job' Comey Because Of Investigation

Asked if he urged Mr Comey at a February meeting to drop his probe of the Russian Federation connections of Mr Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, the president said: "No. No".

Separately, the New York Times reported on Friday that Trump told Russian officials at a White House meeting last week that firing Comey relieved "great pressure" that the president was facing from the ongoing probe into Russia and the election. "He was insane, a real nut job", the Times reported that Trump said during the May 10 meeting. Then, Trump undermined his own staff by telling NBC's Lester Holt, in an interview on May 11, that he was going to fire Comey "regardless of recommendation".

Comey will testify in an open committee session sometime after Memorial Day, the senators said in the statement on Friday, although no date has yet been set.

Republican Representative Scott Taylor told CNN there was "no question" that Trump had "some stumbles this week". Stay tuned on this. There was an additional sensitivity here too, because many Democrats blamed Comey for Trump's election, so he didn't want any shows of closeness between the two that might reinforce a perception that he had put a thumb on the scale in Trump's favor.

Kathleen Clark, a professor of legal ethics at Washington University School of Law, said the Justice Department can grant a waiver if concerns about bias are minimal.

The rule restricts newly appointed government officials from investigating clients of prior employers.

Except Rosenstein's reputation may have taken a hit in all this.

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Mr. Trump said: "I'm not under investigation".

Former FBI director James Comey told associates Trump asked him to shut down an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Capitol Hill hasn't come to any consensus about whether to give Rosenstein the benefit of the doubt.

She said subjects of the investigation could later argue that its results cannot be trusted, but she believes the argument would not stand up in court.

When he announced Mueller's appointment this week, Rosenstein said Mueller will have "all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation".

Republicans are in the awkward position of welcoming an investigation they never wanted while trying to stay on good terms with a president who really, really doesn't want it.

The report does not say who the cover-up probe will target. But he added, "I wrote it".

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The news broke as the Washington Post reported that the investigation had identified a senior current White House official as a "significant person of interest". Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), in May.

While the case began quietly last July as an effort to determine whether any Trump associates coordinated with Russian operatives to meddle in the presidential election campaign, the investigative work now being done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation also includes determining whether any financial crimes were committed by people close to the president.

But the special counsel's investigation arguably takes priority over all that.

When asked about the Justice Department appointing Mueller as Special Counsel, the President deflected the question.

Congress just has yet to define it.

Comey turned down an invitation to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I think it's a mistake to nominate anyone who's running for office", said Sen.

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