Trump Had Second Thoughts About Firing Flynn, Still Supports Him

Trump Had Second Thoughts About Firing Flynn, Still Supports Him

Trump's requests to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers came after then-FBI Director James Comey publicly revealed before the House intelligence committee on March 20 that the FBI had an investigation into collusion to influence the 2016 election.

It was later revealed that Mr. Trump had asked Comey to stop the Bureau's investigation into Gen. Michael Flynn, who was briefly national security adviser and is now the subject of investigations into his ties with the Russian and Turkish governments. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russian Federation investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI's work.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

On the "Fox News Sunday" show Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump was also trying to convey to the Russians that he was "not going to be distracted by all these issues at home that affect us domestically". The former director agreed to testify before the Senate intelligence committee after the Memorial Day holiday.

The lawyers who have spoken to the White House and are widely seen as the finalists are Marc Kasowitz; Robert Giuffra Jr.; Reid Weingarten; and Theodore Olson, the Post said, citing four people briefed on the discussions.

"Might be good to get them back", Manchin said.

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A repeat of the latest version came Sunday when national security adviser H.R. McMaster told ABC News that Trump canned Comey because the ex-FBI head was jamming up Trump's abilities to work with Russian Federation.

Congressional investigators have requested copies of Comey's memos and testimony from Comey himself. The statement from Trump seemed to suggest that the FBI investigation, at least in part, affected his decision to fire Comey. "Are you able to assist in this matter?" one official said of the line of questioning from the White House.

What's more, in addition to directly asking Comey to shut down the FBI investigation, he apparently had some of his aides call senior intelligence officers to ask them to intervene with Comey.

The existence of the memo was first reported by The New York Times. Coats's predecessor in the job, James Clapper, recently acknowledged that Comey did not brief him on the scope of the Russian Federation investigation. Comey will surely deny having said as much.

When the president allegedly made these risky - and possibly criminal - remarks, did Comey advise him that he could not provide him with classified information about a criminal investigation involving his administration? Similarly, it is unclear to what extent the Federal Bureau of Investigation has brought Coats up to speed on the probe's most sensitive findings.

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