POTUS blasts James Comey over Putin meetings

POTUS blasts James Comey over Putin meetings

Donald Trump has blasted former FBI director James Comey as a “total sleaze” and “crooked cop” over allegations he worked on behalf of Russia.

Over the weekend, The New York Times published a story about an FBI probe into the President’s behaviour after he fired Mr Comey.

The story — which Mr Trump has since dismissed — claimed law enforcement officials were “so concerned by the president’s behaviour that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests”.

In other words, counter-intelligence investigators were considering whether Mr Trump’s own private dealings may have threatened his country’s national security.

The President has denied the allegations. Asked by Fox News host Jeanine Pirro whether he’d ever worked on behalf of Russia, Mr Trump said: “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked. I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written. And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing.”

The article also raised another issue: whether Mr Trump’s axing of Mr Comey obstructed justice.

Mr Comey was fired on May 9 last year. If his dismissal had been a direct attempt to stop the Russia investigation on Mr Trump’s part, that could constitute a national security issue.

“Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” said former FBI general counsel James Baker, according to The Times.

However, there has been no released evidence that Mr Trump secretly worked with Kremlin officials.

Mr Trump issued a stream of angry tweets at the newspaper and the FBI, calling the latter “corrupt” and accusing them of attacking him with “no reason & with no proof”.

He said the firing of Mr Comey was “a great day for America” and repeatedly referred to him as “crooked”.

Mr Comey appeared to respond to the tweets with the quote: “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”

Mr Trump has also blasted recent reports by The Washington Post about his private meetings with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The reports, which were also published over the weekend, claimed that Mr Trump had gone to “extraordinary lengths” to hide the details of his conversations with the Russian leader.

The Post claimed that there was at least one occasion in which Mr Trump confiscated the notes from the interpreter present at meetings between the leaders, and instructed them not to discuss the details of the conversation.

When pressed by Pirro for details about the meetings, Mr Trump said the two world leaders had “a great conversation”, and blasted the report.

“Anyone could have listened to that meeting. That meeting is open for grabs,” he said, without going into detail.

“I’m not keeping anything under wraps, I couldn’t care less. I mean, it’s so ridiculous. These people make it up.”

Likewise, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the report “inaccurate” in a statement.

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