Lawmakers urge Trump to avoid picking a partisan for Federal Bureau of Investigation job

Claudine Rigal
Mai 18, 2017

The president has said Comey told him at the dinner that he was not under investigation as part of the FBI probe into possible links between the Kremlin and Trump campaign associates.

Nonetheless, the arrival of Rosenstein and his entourage - during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that dealt extensively with Comey's firing - served only to heighten the political intrigue surrounding the deputy attorney general's enigmatic role in the controversial Comey affair.

Lawmakers from both parties reprimanded Trump's actions, which included shifting explanations from the White House for Comey's dismissal and an ominous tweet by Trump that warned Comey against leaks to the press because he may have "tapes" of their conversations. Nearly all of them are very well known.

The real scandal is not Trump's firing Comey - even if Trump's supporters are unhappy with the timing and the way it was handled and communicated. Comey assured him he was not, Trump said, calling this one of three occasions on which the Federal Bureau of Investigation head gave this assurance.

Trump spent most of the week out of sight, a marked change from a typically jam-packed schedule that often includes multiple on-camera events per day.

At Liberty, Trump peppered his remarks with the kind of anti-establishment rhetoric that fueled his maverick presidential campaign, telling graduates to challenge "entrenched interests".

Trump initially pointed to Rosenstein's May 9 memo, in which the former prosecutor criticized Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, as justification for Comey's firing.

Trump's tweets, including two in which he dismissed questions about whether any of his associates colluded in Russia's interference in last year's presidential election, again overshadowed the White House message on economic and security issues. Before Comey tapped him to lead the Richmond office in 2014, he was chief of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, investigating some of the highest profile cases against government officials and civil rights violations in recent years.

Asked if the decision or an announcement could take place before he leaves for Saudi Arabia on Friday, Trump said: "Even that is possible".

CNN's Jonathan Karl asked Sanders: "Isn't it true that the president had already chose to fire James Comey and he asked the Justice Department to put together the rationale for that firing?"

He increasingly sees himself as the White House's only effective spokesman, according to multiple people who have spoken with him. By week's end, he was musing about cutting back on the White House's televised press briefings.

Those Democrats, Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and John Conyers of MI, also requested "all documents, memoranda, analyses, emails, and other communications relating to the President's decision to dismiss Director Comey - a decision which the president declared yesterday he planned to make "regardless of [Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's] recommendation" - and all discussions with Director Comey".

One leading contender is Sen. They can make recommendations, but the president will ultimately make the hiring decision.

"That's, frankly, offensive", Mr Spicer said.

Kelly was commissioner of the New York City Police Department for more than a decade, serving two mayors.

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