The Latest: Senator sees no need for special prosecutor, yet
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and FBI Director James Comey’s firing (all times local):
Sen. Lindsey Graham says he doesn’t believe a special prosecutor should be considered unless the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia becomes a criminal matter.
It’s now a counterintelligence investigation.
The South Carolina Republican says if it becomes “a criminal investigation where the Trump campaign may be exposed to criminal charges, then that’s the time to have that conversation.”
Graham says he’s confident the FBI’s investigation won’t be hampered by President Donald Trump’s firing of the bureau’s director, James Comey.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman says Moscow isn’t concerned about the firing of the FBI director.
Dmitry Peskov says Russia hopes that President Donald Trump’s decision to fire the FBI’s James Comey won’t affect U.S.-Russia ties “in any way.”
Peskov calls it “an entirely domestic matter” for the United States.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is reacting sarcastically to questions about President Donald Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Lavrov and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were asked during a photo-op whether Comey’s firing cast a shadow over the meeting between the two diplomats.
Lavrov said: “Was he fired? You’re kidding. You’re kidding.” Then the Russian diplomat waved his hand dismissively and exited the room alongside Tillerson.
The meeting comes amid growing concerns about Trump’s decision to fire the head of the law enforcement agency investigating Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible collusion by Trump’s campaign.
Lavrov is scheduled to meet later Wednesday with Trump at the White House.
President Donald Trump is attacking Sen. Richard Blumenthal for criticizing his firing of FBI Director James Comey.
The Connecticut Democrat appeared on MSNBC and CNN Wednesday morning. On CNN, Blumenthal said that the firing had prompted a “looming constitutional crisis.”
Trump tweeted Wednesday that he was watching Blumenthal speak, calling it a “joke.” He criticized Blumenthal for past statements that he served in Vietnam, saying he “would talk of his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam – except he was never there.”
Trump said that Blumenthal “cried like a baby” when caught and that he should be investigated.
Trump has previously attacked Blumenthal over statements that he served in Vietnam. Blumenthal was in the Marine Corps Reserves at the time but did not fight in Vietnam.
President Donald Trump says that Republicans and Democrats will soon “be thanking me” for firing FBI Director James Comey.
Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that Comey had “lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike.” He added: “when things calm down, they will be thanking me!”
Trump abruptly fired Comey Tuesday night. The surprise decision came amid the law enforcement agency’s investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign was connected to Russian meddling in the election.
President Donald Trump says fired FBI Director James Comey “will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.”
In an early-morning tweet Wednesday, Trump attacked Democrats critical of his firing of Comey.
Trump said that Democrats “have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!”
Trump abruptly fired Comey in the midst of the law enforcement agency’s investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign was connected to Russian meddling in the election.
Amid the clamor surrounding the firing of FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump singled out one another Washington fixture for his scorn.
The president went to his Twitter account late Tuesday to chide Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a fellow New Yorker, for comments the Democrat made about the stunning dismissal.
Trump had telephoned Schumer earlier to inform him of the decision. Schumer said he told Trump that “you are making a big mistake.” Schumer also questioned why the firing occurred on Tuesday and wondered whether investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia were “getting too close for the president.” He said unless a special prosecutor is named, Americans could rightfully wonder whether the move was “part of a cover-up.”
Trump fired back with a tweet exclaiming: “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer stated recently, ‘I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.’ Then acts so indignant.”
President Donald Trump’s stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey throws into question the future of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. It immediately raised suspicions of an underhanded effort to stymie a probe that has shadowed the administration from the outset.
Democrats likened the firing to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” and renewed calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor, and some Republicans also questioned the move.
In his letter to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the FBI. The administration paired the letter with a scathing review by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of how Comey handled the investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices, including his decision to hold a news conference announcing its findings and releasing “derogatory information” about Clinton.
FBI Director James Comey was speaking to agents at the FBI’s field office in Los Angeles when the news of his firing broke.
That’s according to a law enforcement official who was present at the time Tuesday. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
The official says television screens in the field office began flashing the news, and Comey initially chuckled. But he continued to speak to the agents, finishing his speech before heading into an office. He did not reappear in the main room.
Comey later left Los Angeles on a plane to return to Washington.
—By Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles