Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Comey to testify in public before Senate Intelligence Committee

Sandy Vega | 22 May, 2017, 17:16

"I also expect that Director Comey will be able to shed light on issues critical to this Committee's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election", said Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va.

Late Friday, the Senate intelligence committee announced that Comey had agreed to testify at an open hearing at an undetermined date after Memorial Day.

The morning after Comey's firing, deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked, "Yes or no, did the president direct Rod Rosenstein to write this memo on James Comey?".

Donald Trump bragged to Russian officials about the firing of James Comey, calling him a "nut job" and saying the move relieved "great pressure" on him, according to a report in The New York Times.

A separate report in the New York Times alleged Mr Trump had been candid with Russian officials in the Oval Office over his axeing of Mr Comey.

In a press release in response to the Times story, the White House disputed not the facts of the report, but the interpretation, saying Trump was talking not about the FBI's criminal investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, but about post-election scrutiny that was making it hard for him to work with Russian Federation.

"I was very pleased, certainly, with the selection of Mr. Mueller", Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland told reporters after the House briefing. The White House has claimed memos from Mr Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions were crucial in persuading Mr Trump to fire Mr Comey.

White House goes blue to honor nation's police officers
Law enforcement officers all over the Mid-South are participating in and hosting various activities during National Police Week . President Donald Trump proclaimed Monday, May 15, as Peace Officers Memorial Day and this entire week, as Police week.


Police say bomb at Thai hospital wounds more than 20 people
Monday's explosion comes one week after another blast outside Bangkok's National Theatre in the heart of its historic quarters. The Kingdom remains under military rule as new laws are being drafted to prepare for fresh elections, expected some next year.


Russia, US in row over coalition strikes on Syrian forces
The area has been considered a de-conflicted zone under an agreement between the US and Russian Federation earlier this month. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the eight fatalities were "mostly non-Syrians".


Comey's father's comments come after a New York Times report on Friday revealed a leaked White House memo where Trump told Russian Officials that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director was "crazy" and "a real nut job".

The AFP reported that the Russian president has a recording of an exchange between Trump and the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov that he was "ready to provide" if necessary. Previous reports indicate that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, are included in the investigation. Richard Burr of North Carolina said in a statement. Sen. Trump repeatedly insisted Comey had told him he was "not under investigation", and said the director better hope there are no "tapes" of their conversations.

The trip, which also includes stops in Israel, Italy and Belgium next week, has been billed by the administration as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions while giving Mr Trump time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders.

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.

However, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Comey declined their invitation to testify before the panel over the circumstances surrounding his abrupt removal.

The White House did not deny the New York Times" report, but instead blamed Comey for putting "unnecessary pressure' on diplomacy between the United States and Russian Federation.

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