James Comey Declines to Testify Before Senate Panel

Olive Rios
May 13, 2017

"I won't talk about that", said Trump.

The shifting accounts of the decision to fire Comey, whom Trump derided as a "showboat" and "grandstander," added to a mounting sense of uncertainty and chaos in the West Wing, as aides scrambled to get their stories straight and appease an angry president.

Instead, they said, the president fired Comey on the advice of senior Justice Department officials including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who in a memo expressed concern about Comey's handling of a 2016 probe into Trump's election rival Hillary Clinton.

"It's ultimately going to be his decision to hire someone or to fire someone", said Spicer on Trump's decision to fire Comey.

The startling admission fanned suggestions Trump may be interfering with the investigation and promoted Comey allies to refute Trump's account of events. Late Thursday, The New York Times cited two unnamed Comey associates who recounted his version of a January dinner with the president in which Trump asked for a pledge of loyalty.

"When I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story", Trump said in an interview with NBC on Thursday.

He told MSNBC that Comey was uneasy with attending the dinner.

Vote in our totally unscientific, informal reader poll below and tell us why you voted that way in the comments. Comey says he refused but promised to be honest. And Trump's question also makes more acute a conflict of interest that the FBI director has: the conflict between a duty to handle criminal investigations impartially (even an investigation that implicates or angers the president) and his personal desire to keep his job.

As Krishnamoorthi correctly points out, there have been "varied and divergent statements" coming from the Trump White House regarding the firings of both former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former FBI Director James Comey.

The president, Vice President Pence and administration spokespeople have offered a dizzying variety of reasons for Comey's ouster.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a liberal ethics watchdog, on Friday called on the Justice Department to investigate whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey.

"You can not stop the men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from doing the right thing", he declared. "There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date", McCabe said.

As McCabe testified, President Trump spoke out about his decision to fire Comey - something that was starkly different from what his administration said.

Trump said in an interview with NBC News Thursday that Comey told him once at dinner and twice over the telephone that he wasn't under investigation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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