Trump asked top intel officials to defend him on Russian Federation claims

Cheryl Sanders
May 23, 2017

"The notes that they apparently have I do not think are a direct transcript", McMaster said on Sunday. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump is reported to have told the top Russian diplomats. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russian Federation to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism", he wrote in two tweets.

The new headlines were a fresh indication that Trump would not be able to change the subject from what appears to be an intensifying investigation reaching toward the president and his inner circle.

The reports, emerging just as Trump jetted off to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as president, were likely to extend the turmoil engulfing his administration since the May 9 firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

The White House is reported to be looking into means to hamper the investigation of Robert Mueller into its possible criminal collusion with Russian Federation during last year's election.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, speaking before lawmakers Friday, defended his controversial memo criticizing former FBI Director James Comey - a document the White House initially used to justify the firing of Comey.

The White House on Friday predicted that the investigation would back up Mr. Trump's account.

Trump angrily denied any collusion with Russian Federation this week and denounced the newest investigation - now in the hands of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III - as "a witch hunt". “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously the termination of Comey would not have ended it.

Testifying in an open session, rather than a closed one, ensures that Comey's testimony will be public.

"I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media", the committee chairman, Republican Richard Burr, said in a statement announcing the appearance.

The many controversies surrounding Flynn raise further questions about why Trump was so determined to bring him into his Cabinet and overlook his considerable baggage, which included including a falling-out with the Defense Intelligence Agency and his lobbying work for a Dutch firm linked to Turkey's government throughout the end of 2016.

A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Lavrov about the "pressure" he was under.

The Times also claims that a third government official who was briefed on the meeting defended the president and suggested that telling Lavrov about the "pressure" he was under was a negotiating tactic, created to coax concession out of the foreign minister on Syria, Ukraine and a number of other issues.

The president has been adamant that the meddling did not alter the outcome of the race, but it has become a political cudgel for his opponents. Coats's predecessor in the job, James Clapper, recently acknowledged that Comey did not brief him on the scope of the Russian Federation investigation.

"As the president has repeatedly noted, Middle East peace is a top priority for this administration", a department spokesperson said. Comey confirmed the existence of the investigation in March, telling Congress that his agents were investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the election and whether anyone in the Trump campaign had been involved.

"Once again" is seemingly a reference to an allegation made by the Washington Post that Trump also shared classified information with Lavrov at the same meeting.

And at the Department of Education, a sprawling bureaucracy of 4,400 employees with a $68 billion budget, "all the key roles except for the secretary remain empty or filled with people in an acting capacity", said a Department of Education official.

Other reports by iNewsToday