Trump Told Russians Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Relieved 'Great Pressure'

Trump Told Russians Firing 'Nut Job' Comey Relieved 'Great Pressure'

But, wait, there was more: Comey, the Senate Intelligence Committee said Friday evening, has agreed to publicly testify before it some time after Memorial Day.

Comey is known to produce memos documenting especially sensitive or unsettling encounters, such as after the February meeting.

The news comes at the tail end of a whirlwind day in Washington, following reports that President Trump told Russian diplomats he fired "nut job" Comey to "relieve pressure" from the Russia investigation, and that a senior White House adviser is a target of the law enforcement investigation into any ties between Russia and Trump associates.

The White House originally pointed to the recommendation of acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the impetus for Comey's firing, but Trump and Rosenstein have both since said that Trump made a decision to fire Comey before receiving Rosenstein's recommendation.

It comes following a week of increasing controversy for President Trump following his firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

Several news reports have emerged in the wake of Comey's firing, alleging that Trump demanded "loyalty" from the former FBI director, asked him to "let" the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn go, and told Russian officials that Comey was "crazy" and a "nut job".

During the meeting - in which Trump allegedly revealed classified information provided by Israel - the president reportedly said Comey's firing a day earlier had had relieved him of "great pressure" over his ties to Russian Federation.

In a statement in response, White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the report, but said Mr Comey had created "unnecessary pressure" on the US' ability to conduct diplomacy with Russian Federation.

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In a statement, he said that Comey had put unnecessary pressure on the president's ability to conduct diplomacy with Russian Federation on matters such as Syria, Ukraine, and the Islamic State. Trump has strongly denied any collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation and has rejected allegations that he pressured Comey to drop a related investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn - saying "the entire thing has been a witch hunt".

One government official interviewed by the Times claimed Trump's talk of "pressure" was a negotiation tactic, meant to press upon Moscow that its meddling in the 2016 elections had raised problems for the president, and to induce Russian Federation into diplomatic concessions.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not deny Trump made the comment but instead blamed the media on Friday for pulling focus from national security issues.

The Russian government is accused by United States intelligence of trying to tilt the 2016 election in Trump's favor. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to the "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein.

Rosenstein has told members of Congress he stands by a memo he wrote that preceded the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

That flies in the face of the White House's public insistence that Comey's dismissal was not linked to his ongoing investigation. “My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination, ” he said. "That's taken off.I am not under investigation", he was quoted as saying by said the daily.

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country", Trump said at a luncheon with a group of television news anchors. Rosenstein said that though he was personally fond of Comey, “I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader.”.

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