Trump denounces reports of widening Russia probe

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 19, 2017

Rosenstein's memo to Sessions about Comey was originally used to justify Comey's firing - although Trump undercut that a few days later, when he told NBC News that he fired Comey because of the Russian Federation probe.

In a series of statements on Twitter Thursday, Trump called special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign a "WITCH HUNT" based on the "phony" premise of possible collusion between Russia and a cadre of Trump campaign associates.

Trump's Twitter response followed days of intensifying criticism of Mueller from some conservatives who have charged the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director and his team with political bias and have claimed his relationship to Comey and an earlier meeting with Trump amount to conflicts of interest.

National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers was on the Hill Monday for a similar closed-door briefing with Senate Russia investigators on whether he was pressured by Trump. The New York Times also reported the story.

Even the House intelligence committee - which was nearly derailed by a partisan split and has been slowed by a decision by its chairman, Devin Nunes, not to completely step aside from the probe - took critical steps this week. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

Coats' appearance comes after he promised to answer questions about whether Trump pressured him to rebut stories about the focus of the federal Russian Federation probe. Grassley's office said the letter is in response to a recent letter from Feinstein requesting that the committee seek details from senior Federal Bureau of Investigation leadership about Comey's interactions with President Donald Trump before he was sacked.

And Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Tuesday said he couldn't talk about firing Comey - because it's something Mueller might be investigating.

Importantly, Grassley seemed to indicate he wouldn't be happy ceding the investigations to Burr's intelligence committee - saying it has a "pretty narrow" purview.

Also Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley said his panel will investigate the removal of former FBI Director James Comey and "any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations".

House Russia probe leader Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican, and Rep. Adam Schiff, the investigation's top Democrat, were set to meet with former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson - just a few days after Senate investigators interviewed him.

Asked about the Comey memo, Burr said the committee got "clarity" on whether it can obtain the document, but he would not say whether that means the committee will receive it. Grassley said Comey's dismissal and Comey's testimony on Lynch should be looked at together, noting that Comey "took the opportunity in his testimony to clear his own name by denouncing as false the administration's claims that the FBI rank-and-file had lost confidence in Mr. Comey's leadership in the wake of the Clinton email investigation".

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