White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in a statement, “As the President has stated before – a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity”.
While White House staffers solidified the details of Trump’s first foreign trip, sensitive information apparently poured out of the administration like a sieve to major USA news outlets regarding the president’s handling of the former FBI director and the ongoing law enforcement investigation into his campaign.
First, the Washington Post reported that the federal investigation into Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 election has now identified a current Trump administration official as a “significant person of interest”, according to multiple unnamed sources. “I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation”.
That is according to a document summarising the meeting obtained by The New York Times. Mueller was tapped for that post the day after another report from The Times, subsequently confirmed to NPR by two sources, that Trump had asked Comey to scuttle the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it”.
He added: “I’m not under investigation”.
The most visible questions about the possible cover-up have come since Trump took office, and especially in the days since the president abruptly fired Comey on May 9.
Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak came one day after Comey was sacked. “By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation”. News reports that Comey had written memos about his conversations with Trump since January have fueled that aspect of the probe.
DONALD TRUMP TOLD Russian diplomats that firing the “nut job” FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him.
A U.S. official briefed on the conversation said Trump was using “pressure” he faced from Comey as a negotiating ploy to win diplomatic gains from Lavrov on issues of dispute between Washington and Moscow – namely Syria and Ukraine.
Allahpundit makes the additional good point that if Trump was really so upset at Comey’s “grandstanding”, he should have welcomed the special counsel announcement, not groused about it: “If the White House wanted less “grandstanding” and more investigating why did it oppose the appointment of a special counsel?” Both stories indicate a marked escalation of the investigation since Mr Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor.