Firing 'nut job' Comey eased pressure, Trump told Russians

Ex-FBI chief Comey to testify in US Congress

Ex-FBI chief Comey to testify in US Congress

White House hopes that Donald Trump could leave scandalous allegations at home were crushed in a one-two punch of revelations that landed shortly after his departure.

TASS posted pictures showing the trio together in the Oval Office, angering the White House and adding odd and ironic optics to questions swirling around the White House over Comey's firing and the investigations into allegations of questionable ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told The New York Times in a statement that Comey had behaved politically and put unnecessary pressure on the president's ability to conduct diplomacy with Russian Federation on matters such as Syria, Ukraine and the Islamic State. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing.

Comey will testify in open session of the Senate Intelligence Committee at some point after the Memorial Day holiday, May 29, though a date has not yet been set.

Donald Trump believes EU27 more united after Brexit vote, Donald Tusk says
Whatever it was, to my mind, we can work out a common position with the United States on Ukraine, Tusk said. US businesses have taken advantage of its single market to reduce the costs of exporting to Europe.

Trump has denied he asked Comey to do that, though Comey wrote a memo after their encounter memorializing Trump's words to that effect ("I hope you can let this go"), according to sources close to the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Earlier this week, NPR confirmed that Trump had asked Comey to scuttle the investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, according to a memo of the account written by Comey.

Comey is known to produce memos documenting especially sensitive or unsettling encounters, such as after the February meeting.

Spicer denied that Trump fired Comey to block the Russian Federation investigation, saying, "the investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it".

G-7 source: USA gets more time for climate pact answer
Maybe that will make him more disposed to his European partners as they lobby him to stay in the Paris Climate Accord. President Donald Trump and Canada's prime minister met on the sidelines of the G-7 summit to discuss economic issues.

On May 10, the day after he fired Comey, Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak, in a meeting that has generated furious controversy.

"I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was insane, a real nut job", Trump has reportedly told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office on May 10, the day after he dismissed Comey, according to the document. I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation. Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian Federation probe, that responsibility would likely fall on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller in the first place.

But the president undercut that argument a day later, telling NBC News, "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". I thought that was over the top. "This renewed my confidence that we should not have confidence in this administration". Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to the "very strong" recommendation from Rosenstein. "My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said. "I believe it. I stand by it".

"There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians - zero", Trump told reporters. "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". However, at a combative news conference Thursday, he fell short in trying to resolve questions about investigations into his campaign and his first four months in office.

Trump delays decision on Paris climate accord
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the G-7 leaders "put forward very many arguments" for the USA sticking with the agreement. The delay provided opportunity for G-7 leaders and Pope Francis to press Trump to honor the U.S.'s environmental commitments.

The latest report from the Post, citing unnamed sources familiar with the investigation, undercuts Trump's insistence that his campaign had nothing to do with the Kremlin.

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