Firestorm over Comey's dismissal adds to Trump frustrations

Lauren Perry
May 18, 2017

Trump tweeted Friday that former FBI Director James Comey "better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press".

The official White House version of how Comey came to be fired was that deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, fresh on the job, wrote a memo expressing concern about the way Comey had handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation. The deputy AG noted that several past top DOJ officials from both parties agreed with his assessment-unsurprisingly so, since the FBI's institutional role is to conduct investigations, the results of which are conveyed to the Department of Justice, whose leaders then decide whether to prosecute or not.

Democrats and the media have continued to fault the timing for Mr. Comey's sack following ongoing investigations into alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation in the November 8 presidential election.

Then, in the days after the election, with Democrats still seething about Comey's 11th-hour surprise, amid speculation that Trump might not want to keep him on as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, the president-elect praised Comey.

Mr. Trump, in a series of tweets on Friday morning, suggested that there might be secret tapes of his conversations with Mr. Comey.

Trump reportedly fumed over this latest case of disloyalty during a weekend at his New Jersey golf resort.

A majority of likely voters also believe allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to interfere with the presidential election is a serious issue, and Comey's firing makes them less confident in the prospect of a fair investigation. Justice Department officials warn Comey against sending the letter, saying that doing so would be inconsistent with department policy meant to avoid the appearance of prosecutorial interference or meddling in elections.

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November 12, 2016: During a telephone call with top campaign donors, Clinton blames Comey for her defeat by Trump.

"One of things that is so painful to watch as a career prosecutor who loves the Department of Justice", McQuade says, "is I see this constant eroding of public trust in our institutions". They can make recommendations, but the president will ultimately make the hiring decision. Thirty-six percent of Americans said they had "hardly any confidence at all" in the executive branch and 43 percent said they felt that way about Congress.

"That's, frankly, offensive, " Spicer said. All I want is for Comey to be honest.

Sources have told CNN that Trump's decision to ax Comey was made after he grew increasingly frustrated with him following a congressional hearing last week in which he said he was "mildly nauseous" over the idea that he helped sway the 2016 election. The former FBI director had been leading the agency's investigation into the US intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Trump campaign aides and Russian officials.

The briefing began with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster discussing the president's upcoming trip to the Middle East and Europe, despite threats from President Trump earlier in the day threatening to cancel press briefings in the face of fallout from Comey's dismissal.

Say, didn't Trump run on his ability to put together the most competent team possible? Comey has not explicitly denied the account. Back at the White House on Monday, he had decided: It was time for Comey to go.

Other reports by VgToday

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