Trump embroiled in Russian scandals
The US President asked then-FBI Director Comey to shut down a probe; shared the nation's top secrets during Sergei Lavrov visit
19 May, 2017
Another series of revelations on the scandal surrounding US President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey has been brought to light by the New York Times. The publication claims that the fired FBI head documented his meetings with Trump and reveals the content of one particular memo. If confirmed, the information shows a serious offence. The White House has denied the allegations.
The details obtained by the New York Times recount a 14 February meeting between Comey and Trump at the Oval Office, during which the US leader asked then-FBI director to shut down the federal investigation into Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. “I hope you can let this go,” Trump told Comey, according to the language of the memo. It was written by Comey immediately after the meeting, one day after Flynn resigned over his contacts with Russians.
According to a CNN source, Comey is prepared to testify publicly in connection to the pressure exerted on him by President Trump. The White House denied the report in a statement, saying it was "not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey." Regarding Trump’s insinuations that he has tapes of his meetings with Comey and that those might be revealed if the latter spoke out, Comey said he hoped there are tapes so that the truth came out.
The scandal is unlikely to go away easily. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz demanded that the FBI turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Trump and Comey in a letter sent to the acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe. The Department of Justice has named Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI, as a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and ties between the Trump administration and Russia.
The news of Comey’s memo came at the end of a stressful day in Washington dominated by the Russian specter. Since early morning, rampant speculations swirled about state secrets Trump may have leaked in his conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on 10 May.
“As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism,” Trump tweeted.
A critical response from the Congress was widely expected domestically but never came as senators wisely opted to wait. Even Republican Sen. John McCain, one of Trump’s fiercest critics, said that the US should look closely at exactly what kind of information the President shared with the Russians.