According to a document summarizing the recent meeting between President Trump and Russian diplomats, Trump reportedly told the officials that firing James Comey – a “nut job” – would ease the ongoing FBI investigation.
An American official read a summation of the report to the New York Times:
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,“ said Trump. “I’m not under investigation,“ he added.
The May 10th meeting took place just a day following the firing of Mr. Comey.
A running list of what’s happened this week:
- It was revealed that President Trump mistakenly disclosed highly classified intelligence from an Israeli counterterrorism operation.
- The deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, told the entire Senate that Trump’s decision to fire Comey predated Rosenstein’s memo justifying it.
- Robert S. Mueller III, former FBI Director, was appointed as Special Counsel and will continue the investigation. President Trump has labeled the investigation a “witch hunt.”
Spicer confirms account:
Sean Spicer did not dispute the account, but added that Times report was another example of an administration repeatedly undermined by leaks:
“The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it.
Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations,” said Spicer.
Official defends Trump’s move as ‘negotiating tactic’:
Another government official defended Trump’s remarks, saying that they were a part of an extended negotiating tactic to establish a sense of obligation from the Russians on a number of matters:
- Russia’s meddling in last years election had created tremendous problems for the Trump administration, the thought went.Opponents have seized on the reports.
- By telling the Russian officials that Comey’s removal had “relieved pressure”, Trump was seeking to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and “to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues,” the Times wrote.
- Earlier today, it was reported that Comey once tried to hide behind curtains to avoid Trump.
- “What James Comey told me about Donald Trump” by Benjamin Wittes