Trump says wants to move quickly to nominate new Federal Bureau of Investigation director

Pierre Vaugeois
Mai 18, 2017

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told MSNBC'S Andrea Mitchell on Friday that there could be evidence of collusion between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign - a statement that comes on the heels of an apparent public threat Trump made this morning to fired FBI Director James Comey, tweeting that Comey had better hope their conversations have not been taped.

Clapper said Comey accepted Trump's invitation out of "professional courtesy".

"I can tell you also that Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and still does to this day", McCabe told the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard".

"I'm not under investigation", Trump added.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed the report and said the president would "never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty".

Speaking on Saturday to about 50,000 people at Liberty University in Lynchburg, the nation's largest Christian college, Trump made no mention of Comey or the controversy his dismissal on Tuesday caused.

Democrats have accused the Republican president of trying to foil the FBI's probe into Moscow's actions and many have called for a special prosecutor to look into the matter.

The New York Times late on Thursday cited two unnamed Comey associates who recounted his tale of a January dinner with the president in which Trump asked for a pledge of loyalty. "Nearly all of them are very well known", Trump said. "I was going to fire regardless of recommendation".

"I think the president wants loyalty to this country and to the rule of law", he said.

The FBI and the congressional intelligence committees are investigating Russia's election interference and the Trump campaign's ties to Kremlin officials.

"Did you ask him to drop the investigation?"

"I said, 'If it's possible, would you let me know, am I under investigation?'" Trump told NBC. "He said, 'You are not under investigation'". It was Trump's first public event outside the White House since Comey's ouster.

McCabe testified it was not typical practice to tell a person they are not a target of an investigation. She answered: "No, I don't believe it is".

In fact, in an NBC News interview this week, Trump himself said he was going to fire Comey regardless of the Justice Department's recommendation, even though White House staff and even Vice President Pence had pointed to the recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier in the week.

The Republican chairman of the Senate panel, Richard Burr, asked McCabe whether he ever heard Comey tell Trump the president was not the subject of investigation.

Some senior officials have discussed nominating Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who ran the House committee that investigated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's actions in connection with the 2012 attack on a USA compound in Benghazi, Libya.

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