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


19 May, 2017

Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former USA officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

"I'd think he'd be a good choice", Graham said.

It carries potentially high stakes given the Russia investigation and Trump's reported sharing of highly classified intelligence with the Russians, especially considering the source of that information. Republicans on Capitol Hill hoped the same, reasoning that the appointment of a special counsel could free them to work on a major tax overhaul and other matters without constant distractions.

"As far as I can recall, maybe one month or two months before the Trump administration had an official ban on laptops on airlines from seven middle Eastern counties and it was connected directly with the terrorist threat", Lavrov added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday referenced the controversy surrounding photos a Russian photographer took during a White House meeting with President Trump that was closed to the American press.

Did he in fact collude with Russian Federation in his campaign to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton?

"Everybody, even my enemies, have said there is no collusion", he maintained.

However another answer on that subject seemed both more specific and perhaps ambiguous.

"Believe me - there's no collusion".

"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, '" Mr Trump told NBC's Lester Holt.

Trump cited displeasure with the FBI's Russian Federation probe as a factor in dismissing Comey. "Not with me, not with representatives of Russia's special services".

Trump himself hasn't directly addressed the latest allegations that he pressured Comey to drop the Flynn investigation.

Trump later appointed Flynn as national security adviser, giving him access to a wide array of American intelligence from several agencies, shortly after Trump took office.

His appointment, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was a striking shift for the Justice Department, which had resisted increasingly insistent calls from Democrats for an outside prosecutor.

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Trump also announced Thursday that he was "very close" to naming Comey's successor as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, with ex-Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman expected to fill the post. "And then on top of that, after the Wednesday performance by Director Comey, you had a person come and have to readjust the record, which many people have never seen before, because there were misstatements made".

The FBI's reputation, he said, had been damaged during the presidential campaign, given "what happened with respect to the Clinton campaign".

Some of these Republicans have been quick to criticize the president, while not being almost so harsh on Mr. Comey for failing to disclose his notes to the Justice Department, which would be required by the law if he felt the president was trying to obstruct justice. "That doesn't seize up Congress", Ryan said at a press conference.

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