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Trump told Russians pressure off after firing 'nutjob' Comey

Trump told Russians pressure off after firing 'nutjob' Comey

Separately, The Washington Post reported Friday that the FBI investigation into possible co-ordination between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign was moving closer to the White House.

Earlier this week, investors dumped stocks in response to reports that Trump in February had asked Comey to stop investigating his former national security adviser, prompting accusations the president may have tried to hamper the probe.

"That's taken off." The president also reportedly said: "I'm not under investigation". After learning about Trump's decision to fire Comey, Rosenstein said he wrote a "brief memorandum to the Attorney General" outlining his "longstanding concerns" about Comey's previous behavior.

One government official interviewed by the Times claimed Trump's talk of "pressure" was a negotiation tactic, meant to press upon Moscow that its meddling in the 2016 elections had raised problems for the president, and to induce Russian Federation into diplomatic concessions.

It did not deny the Times report that Trump was critical of Comey to the Russians the day after he fired him. "He was insane, a real nut job", Trump told Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov last week, according to the Times, citing notes taken at the meeting and read to the paper by a United States official.

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OPEC's national representatives plus officials from its Vienna secretariat met on Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, production in the USA has been increasing, threatening to derail the group's goal.

Contacted by the Times, White House press secretary Sean Spice did not deny Trump had made the statements, saying Comey's "grandstanding and politicizing" of the Russian Federation probe had put "unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".

"Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader", Rosenstein said in prepared remarks for appearances before House and Senate lawmakers that were released Friday by the Justice Department.

Trump, who on Friday left for his first foreign trip, has slammed the appointment of a special counsel as a politically motivated "witch hunt".

The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said in a statement on Friday that "by grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia's actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russian Federation".

The global trip, which includes stops in the Middle East and Europe, comes at an opportune time for the White House, which has endured a week full of bombshell news stories that threaten to engulf the administration.

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Mr Comey had been running an inquiry into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's election campaign. In the Oval Office weeks later, Comey told associates, the president asked him to shut down an investigation into Flynn.

But he said ultimately he thought it was appropriate for Trump "to seek a new leader" of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Trump has insisted at times that the decision was his alone, but he also has pointed to the “very strong” recommendation from Rosenstein.

The White House repeated its assertion that a “thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.”. But he added, "I wrote it".

Comey, who was leading an FBI investigation into Trump's campaign team and whether it colluded with the Kremlin during the 2016 election, was sacked earlier this month. I believe it. I stand by it.”.

In the briefing, Rosenstein stressed that his memo criticizing Comey was not meant to be a finding of official misconduct or a "statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination".

Trump had ignited a political firestorm the previous week when he fired Comey, who was running the investigation. Comey has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for his public comments on an investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton's email practices, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the closing days of last year's campaign.

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A message left with a representative for Abedin seeking comment Friday morning was not immediately returned. Amid sobs, he said that last fall he "came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness ".

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) accused President Trump on Friday of being more open with Russian officials than he has been with the American people. He also dismissed as "ridiculous" the accusation that he colluded with Russian Federation.

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