USA president Donald Trump told Russian diplomats that firing the "nut job" Federal Bureau of Investigation director had relieved "great pressure" on him, according to The New York Times. It said the paper was based on notes taken during the meeting inside the Oval Office.
This news after reports Friday in the New York Times and the Washington Post about the fallout from Trump's firing of Comey, as well as the inquiry into Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Trump was telling Mr. Lavrov of the "pressure" he was now under.
In the days after Comey's firing, some lawmakers, former Justice officials and people who knew Rosenstein wondered if he had been forced to write the politically charged memo for Trump. Figures such as Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page had Trump's ear in 2016, and while Flynn was briefly part of the president's White House operation, none of these figures now has a job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The ongoing probe into ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign has reportedly identified a current White House official as "a significant person of interest, "The Washington Post reports". Sessions has recused himself from the Trump-Russia probe, citing his close involvement in the Trump campaign previous year.
The revelation comes as the investigation also appears to be entering a more overtly active phase, with investigators shifting from work that has remained largely hidden from the public to conducting interviews and using a grand jury to issue subpoenas.More news: 1st meeting of China-Philippines South China Sea consultation mechanism convened
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Administration officials who have acknowledged contacts with Russian officials include Mr Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, attorney general Jeff Sessions and secretary of state Rex Tillerson. The White House counsel's office was alerted only after the order appointing Mueller was signed, said a senior White House official, who was not authorized to speak publicly by name and commented only on condition of anonymity. It says one official had read quotations to the Times and another had confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion. "He was insane, a real nut job".
"The Committee looks forwards to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", said committee Chairman and Senator Richard Burr, R. -N.C., in a late Friday press release issued jointly with Senator Mark Warner, D.
Trump met with the Russians on May 10, the day after he fired Comey.
The report came moments after President Trump departed on Air Force One for his first foreign trip.
But GOP lawmakers have grown increasingly anxious since Trump fired Comey, who had been leading the bureau's probe - and after Comey associates said he had notes from a meeting in which Trump asked him to shut down the investigation into the Russian Federation ties of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed - as recently as Thursday - to the "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein.