Key moments of Trump-Comey clash and what's come after

President Trump Hosts Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan At White House
Texas Congressman Al Green Calls for Trump's Impeachment

19 May, 2017

Robert Mueller to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 United States election and possible collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

The White House has denied reports that Trump pressed Comey to drop an investigation into Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Comey later writes a memo saying Trump asked him to shut down the FBI investigation into Flynn and his Russian Federation ties. In February, a day after ousting Flynn, reportedly for misleading the vice president about previous contacts with the Russian ambassador, Trump asked Comey to go easy on Flynn, according to news reports citing a Comey memo on the meeting.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, said simply, "It would be helpful to have less drama emanating from the White House". And other pundits who worked in the Nixon administration have started to tell cable news audiences that they believe Trump is now in impeachment territory. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., tore into Ryan and Chaffetz, urging an immediate subpoena for White House records involving Flynn and a quick public hearing featuring Comey. By several senators' accounts, he contradicted Trump's statements that Rosenstein's written criticism of FBI Director James Comey had been a factor in Comey's recent firing by the president.

Graham told reporters that he is inviting Comey to testify publicly before the Senate judiciary subcommittee that he chairs - "I don't want to read a memo, I want to hear from him".

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said he was supportive of investigations in Congress but expressed concern about the "proliferation" of hearings.

The logic here doesn't quite follow, given the special counsel wasn't appointed by Democrats; it was named by his deputy attorney general.

"Zero", Trump said, standing next to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who was meeting with Trump at the White House, prompting the presser.

Trump himself said he had "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russian Federation.

But Graves said it would be inappropriate to speculate about obstruction of justice - potentially an impeachable offense - before an investigation is completed.

"The entire thing has been a witch hunt", the President said. "If an investigation comes out and shows that he crossed that line, sure. But that's not anyone's place to speculate, the alleged memo has not been released".

The allegations broke just days before Mr Trump visits Israel during his first foreign tour, which has already been beset by disagreements over a planned trip to the Western Wall, which sits in occupied East Jerusalem.

Both Kennedy and Scalise said they trusted their congressional colleagues to properly investigate.

In addition, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had to recuse himself from the investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election because he was being investigated by the House Committee on Ethics for making unauthorized disclosures of classified information. "The American people can make up their own minds, and the chips can fall where they may".

He does not believe the scandal will cause lasting damage to the "very intimate" security relationship between the U.S. and Israel, adding: "None of us in the Israeli intelligence community like this event but I think it can be put aside and allow Mr Trump's visit to be successful".

"We'll get rid of the smoke and see where the actual issues lie", said Sen.

Scalise's spokesman Chris Bond released a statement clarifying his position on the Comey debate.

"This is not a time to rush to conclusions without the full facts, and that's why the House Oversight committee has requested the memo in question", Bond said.

"The intensity of that [poll] support might be gradually eroding, however", Real Clear Politics concludes, using Sanford as an example of the slipping support for Trump.

Spokespeople for Republican U.S. Sen.

Sen. John McCain invoked Watergate in describing the escalating controversy surrounding alleged ties between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

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