Donald Trump says he fired James Comey because he was 'unpopular'

Elias Hubbard
May 20, 2017

Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein knew James B. Comey was about to be fired before writing his scathing memo to President Trump about the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, senators said Thursday. I think it shows division, and it shows that we're not together as a country. Press leaks, including to Fox News, later established that Comey had written a memo to himself detailing at least one encounter with Trump where the president had suggested he would like to see any investigation of Flynn ended. Mueller on Wednesday evening was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as special counsel to oversee the Justice Department's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the USA presidential election and related issues.

Meanwhile, at home, other investigations into Russian Federation will move forward. On Wednesday, the president reportedly interviewed four candidates for Comey's former position at the White House.

Rosenstein briefed senators on Thursday but made no public comments.

Despite initially opposing appointment of an independent counsel, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that the development "helps assure people and the Justice Department that they're going to go do their jobs independently and thoroughly, which is what we've called for all along".

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.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who had previously led the investigation, was sacked by Trump on May 9.

"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".

President Donald Trump flatly denied Thursday that he ever urged ex-FBI Director James Comey to back off or close the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. "Russia is fine." On whether the questions surrounding Russian Federation and his campaign were divisive, Trump added: "I think it divides the country".

A key issue Mueller may have to tackle is whether Trump has committed obstruction of justice, an offense that could be used in any effort in the Republican-led Congress to impeach him and remove him from office.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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