Donald Trump considering 11 candidates to replace former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey

Isaac Cain
May 20, 2017

Despite the White House's initial assertion that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey was dismissed Tuesday over mishandling the Hillary Clinton email case, United States President Donald Trump on Thursday told NBC that "this Russian Federation thing" was among his reasons, mentioning Comey's repeated claims that he, Trump, was not being investigated. Experts say the alleged conversations raise concerns about potential intimidation and conflicts of interest.

The development comes as the Trump administration faces questions over why and how the president fired Comey last week as the FBI was investigating whether Trump's presidential campaign was connected to Russian meddling in the election.

Trump abruptly fired Comey on Tuesday and later said Comey was a "showboat" and "grandstander" who was not doing a good job, drawing a firestorm of criticism.

Politico's Austin Wright reports that Comey has declined the invitation, citing committee aides. Sen. "Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe said under oath this week, 'There's been no effort to impede our investigation to date.' I take him at his word".

Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, in his press briefing, denied that President threatened the former FBI Director.

As Trump works to fast-track Comey's successor, lawmakers from both parties urged him to steer clear of any politicians for the job and say he must "clean up the mess that he mostly created".

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Comey's replacement requires Senate confirmation. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is asking House Speaker Paul Ryan to join in a call for Rosenstein to brief House members, as he will do for senators Thursday.

The firing of Comey already has left Trump with the dubious distinction of being the first president since Nixon to dismiss a law enforcement official overseeing an investigation tied to the White House.

Warner also said he hopes to have Comey testify in a public hearing before his committee. Trump calls Comey over to where he is standing in the Blue Room to offer a handshake and a partial hug, then comments that Comey has "become more famous than me".

January 22, 2017: Two days after taking office, Trump appears to single out Comey at a White House reception to thank law enforcement officers and others that helped during the inauguration. "All I can tell you is, well I know what, I know that I'm not under investigation. Me". It came just days after the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed Trump's then-National Security Adviser Mike Flynn about his conversations with the Russian ambassador and a day after acting Attorney General Sally Yates first alerted the White House that she believed Flynn had lied about the conversations and could be blackmailed by Moscow. While it is not illegal under U.S. law for President Trump to ask if he is under investigation, former U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson Matthew Miller described it as "completely inappropriate" and pointed out that Comey would not be allowed to answer under Department rules. The person had seen the memo but was not authorized to discuss it by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Lee, however, insisted that Trump was not interfering with the investigation. The White House denies the account. "And in fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won".

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