President Donald Trump says that the appointment of a special counsel for the ongoing investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russian Federation “divides the country”.
The Times reported on Tuesday that Trump had asked Comey during a February meeting to consider shutting down the FBI’s ongoing investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. “Russia is fine, but whether it’s Russian Federation or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the United States of America”.
Initial statements from the White House said Mr Trump had fired Mr Comey on the recommendation of the Justice Department, due to his handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we’re a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country”, said Trump. And in an exclusive report, Reuters states Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional investigators are looking at 18 phone calls and emails between Russian officials and Flynn and others in the Trump campaign.
According to Schmidt’s report, Trump short-circuited what Comey considered to be the proper channels and etiquette by requesting information as to when it would be officially acknowledged that the president himself was not personally under investigation.
In the report, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a friend of Comey’s, detailed the comical lengths that Comey went to in order to avoid the President.
“And he said that ever since, the President had been trying to be chummy in a fashion that Comey felt was created to absorb him into Trump’s world – to make him part of the team”.
The comments are the latest addition to a growing list of White House rationale for Mr Comey’s firing.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., however, told reporters, after Rosenstein briefed the full Senate Thursday afternoon, that the deputy attorney general said he knew Comey would be dismissed by Trump before writing the memo that the White House released when it announced the firing.
Trump then punts to all the things he says are going well with jobs, manufacturing and in the fight against ISIS.