President Donald Trump bragged to two top Russian officials last week that firing "nut job" FBI Director James Comey eased "great pressure" on him, The New York Times reported Friday.
"I just fired the head of the FBI", Trump, according to a document read to the Times by an American official. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by a USA official.
He also reportedly said, "I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation".
He was also said to have told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak that "I'm not under investigation".
Contacted by the Times, White House press secretary Sean Spice did not deny Trump had made the statements, saying Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing" of the Russian Federation probe had put "unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation". "By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".
In the remarks, Rosenstein also batted down news reports that Comey had ever requested more resources for the investigation, and said acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe could not recall such a request either.
"Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations", he said.
Trump's dismissal of Comey was met with bipartisan derision. The members said he said he'd been told of the decision to fire Comey before he was asked to write the memo. "I don't think (Rosenstein) did a lot to bolster our confidence in him today". "Because you look at all of the people on the Democratic side, not only the Republican side, that were saying such bad things about Director Comey". Reports of a memo from Comey indicating Trump had asked him to drop an investigation into Flynn rocked Washington and Wall Street.
Trump lambasts 'witch hunt' after ex-FBI boss named Russian Federation probe chief
Mueller, he explained, will be "completely siloed off from the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ". Flynn what the next step, if any, is". "'I think it could be' impeachable, Jones told POLITICO", the outlet reports .
However, the newly appointed special counsel reports to the deputy attorney general.
Trump added, "I'm not under investigation".
In the days since Donald Trump fired F.B.I.
Critics accused the president of trying to thwart the FBI investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the USA election and any Moscow ties to Trump associates.
Mueller's broad mandate gives him not only oversight of the Russian Federation probe, but also "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation".
Trump said on Thursday that the appointment of a special counsel - which "hurts our country" - proves he is the subject of "the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history". Several congressional Republicans said Wednesday that if Trump did suggest that Comey "let this go" regarding Flynn's Russian contacts, it was probably just a joke, light banter.
Despite such frustrations, members agreed that Rosenstein had received a warm reception from both Republicans and Democrats at the meeting, a development that they said showed not only praise for his selection of Mueller to oversee the probe but also a recognition that Republican resistance to an independent probe was futile. The meeting ignited controversy this week when it was revealed that Trump had disclosed intelligence from an Israeli counterterrorism operation. Articles of impeachment leveled against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton included allegations of obstruction of justice, as they were suspected of trying to hide other wrongdoing. "I look forward to this matter concluding quickly". Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, tweeted Friday.