Trump denies telling Comey to back off, bashes former Federal Bureau of Investigation director

Posted May 19, 2017

"Russia is fine, but whether it's Russian Federation or anybody else, my total priority, believe me, is the United States of America".

A senior administration official said: "While the President has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn".

The Justice Department recently appointed a special prosecutor to head the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

President Trump on Thursday strongly denied any collusion between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation, and rejected allegations that he pressured then-FBI Director James Comey to drop a related investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn - saying "the entire thing has been a witch hunt". But the fact he even got the job in the first place is more puzzling in the wake of a bombshell report published by the New York Times on Wednesday - a report that might also shed light on the Trump administration's reluctance to turn over documents to the Intelligence Committee. "This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey".

"We'll figure out on Gen. Flynn what the next step, if any, is", Burr said. Flynn led thousands of party faithful in an anti-Clinton chant, "Lock her up!" for the way she handled national security material on her private email server while she was the country's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013. Later in the day, however, Burr walked that back, saying Flynn's lawyers simply hadn't yet responded to the subpoena.

Trump then spoke at length about his decision to fire Comey and indicated he thought it would be a more popular decision among Democrats.

To prepare for his trip, Trump has been meeting with briefers including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster, deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Now, The Daily Beast is reporting that despite Flynn's current legal quagmire, Trump would like to bring the general back to the White House.

Flynn might be stonewalling, but the Times reports that a grand jury in northern Virginia is investigating Flynn's "foreign lobbying and has begun issuing subpoenas to businesses that worked with Mr. Flynn and his associates".

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Flynn and other Trump aides were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails in the last seven months of the presidential campaign ahead of the November 8 vote.