Stocks Tumble as Another Scandal Shakes White House

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

Kinzinger, who previously said two Congressional inquiries along with the FBI investigation is enough, shifted his view following reports that Trump asked dismissed FBI Director James Comey to shut down the Department of Justice investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump fired Comey last week in a controversial move that has raised questions about whether he was trying to obstruct a federal probe into Russian interference in the US election.

Responding to a question, Amash said Wednesday that could be grounds, "if the allegations are true".

Putin, who still hopes Moscow can fix battered ties with the United States despite a deepening political scandal in the United States related to Trump's purported Russian Federation ties, said Moscow had rated Lavrov's meeting with Trump highly.

The cascade of controversies buffeting the White House is starting to rankle high-profile Republicans, who are voicing concerns about how the daily drama is impacting the GOP agenda on Capitol Hill.

The New York Times first, then The Washington Post and other outlets have reported that Trump had asked Comey in a February meeting not to pursue the Flynn probe and instead go after journalists in leak cases. In January, Trump reportedly sought a pledge of loyalty from Comey and failed to obtain it.

Flynn, according to the newspaper, had another conversation with lawyers on the transition team two days later.

The Times reports the White House would not comment on whether it was aware of Flynn's legal status prior to January's inauguration.

When the White House announced that Comey had been let go from his position at the FBI, Trump's surrogates cited a recommendation from deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions as motivation for the move. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on a key House oversight panel, countered that Ryan and the Republicans had shown "zero, zero, zero appetite for any investigation of President Trump". He told reporters on Wednesday he was ready to prove it by supplying Congress with a transcript. He says there is "clearly a lot of politics being played".

Earlier in the day, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster denied Trump had caused a "lapse in national security", saying it was "wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the American people".

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Comey's account would be troubling under any circumstances.

As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know - there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. In addition Trump is facing pointed questions about his discussions with Russian diplomats during which he is reported to have disclosed classified information.

He said he did not want to get ahead of events, and all the facts still needed to be assembled before anyone could say whether it would affect the presidency, but it "just increasingly looks like that".

Complaining about what he said was "political schizophrenia" in the United States, Putin said Trump was not being allowed to do his job properly.

Donald Trump has claimed that "no politician in history" has been "treated worse or more unfairly" than he has.

Mike Flynn resigned as national security advisor to Trump when it was discovered that he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about a meeting he had with a Russian ambassador. Dianne Feinstein of California sent the letter to the Justice Department and the White House on Wednesday.

Putin joked that that he would reprimand Lavrov because "he hasn't shared those secrets with us". Flynn was forced to resign on February 13 amid questions over his contact with the Russian ambassador to the United States and discussions of US sanctions.

A Kremlin aide, Yuri Ushakov, later told reporters that Moscow had a written record of the conversation, not an audio recording.

Ushakov said "any contacts" with the US president are "important" but he would not reply to the question whether the classified information that Trump reportedly shared with Lavrov and Kislyak was valuable for Russian Federation. Speaker Paul Ryan supported the demand through a spokesperson. "That's very hard when you're dealing with the firing of an Federal Bureau of Investigation director, a subject about which the President may have said all kinds of contrary things".

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