Trump says 'fast decision' possible on new Federal Bureau of Investigation director

Claudine Rigal
Mai 19, 2017

The shifting accounts of the decision to fire Comey, whom Trump derided as a "showboat" and "grandstander", added to a mounting sense of uncertainty and chaos in the West Wing, as aides scrambled to get their stories straight and appease an angry president.

But in the federal matter of the Trump-Russia investigation, the state attorneys general say there is little they can do but act as a "vertical" check on Rosenstein, pressing him to act in the country's best interest.

In an interview with NBC News, Trump also said he'd asked Comey point-blank if he was under investigation and was assured three times he was not. On Capitol Hill, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe strongly disputed the White House's assertion that Comey had been fired in part because he had lost the confidence of the FBI's rank-and-file. But the New York Times later reported that Trump had asked Comey multiple times that night for a pledge of loyalty, and each time, Comey said he couldn't do it.

The White House's explanations continued to crumble throughout the day Thursday. Trump tweeted shortly before 7 a.m. Friday.

Republican leaders in Congress remain opposed to giving up partisan-tainted investigations into Trump aides' possible collusion with Russian Federation.

The White House initially cited a Justice Department memo criticizing Comey's handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails as the impetus for Trump's decision.

The president's advisers said this week that Trump fired Comey on Tuesday in response to a recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Each has worked in high-profile positions in the Justice Department.

Since his tweet, neither Trump nor his press spokesman have commented on whether Trump has been recording his meetings as president. At the same time, the opposition being mounted by the Democratic Party and its media allies, such as the Times, is entirely reactionary. There is no serious opposition from these quarters to Trump's savage attacks on health care, education and other social services, or his assault on immigrants and democratic rights more generally.

For months, Trump dismissed the conclusion of the US intelligence community that Russian Federation was ultimately responsible for hacking into computer systems and email accounts associated with the Democratic Party, then leaking information that was damaging to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Regardless of his muddled connection to Comey's firing, 20 Democratic state attorneys general wrote to Rosenstein on Thursday, saying he is the only one who can begin to fix the damage.

After four months in office, President Donald Trump has become distrustful of some of his White House staff, heavily reliant on a handful of family members and longtime aides, and furious that the White House's attempts to quell the firestorm over the FBI and congressional Russian Federation investigations only seem to add more fuel. "It was a quick-moving process", she said. This contradicted repeated claims by Trump that Clapper had asserted there was no such collusion.

Trump is mulling expanding the communications team and has eyed hiring producers from Fox News, according to one White House official.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declined either to affirm or deny the existence of such tapes. "The president has nothing further to add on that", he said. "If you wanted him to confess to murder, all a lawyer would have to say is, 'Your honor, the killer could not possibly have been Donald Trump, it must have been someone much stronger, and smarter, with a much hotter daughter.' And before they finished that sentence, Trump would be yelling, 'I did it, it was me, lock me up! I won't talk about it". After the officials refused to fire Cox, Nixon dismissed them on Saturday, October 20, 1973.

Whether Trump was suggesting there are actually tapes of their conversations is unknown at present. But many interpreted it as a move to limit media access.

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