What now for the US un­der ‘ly­ing’ Trump?

CityPress - - News - GINA CHON news@city­press.co.za

Re­cently fired FBI di­rec­tor James Comey’s as­ser­tion that Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s is ly­ing will most likely bog down an al­ready strug­gling ad­min­is­tra­tion.

This week, dur­ing the highly an­tic­i­pated Se­nate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee ap­pear­ance by Comey, he said the US pres­i­dent lied on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, and he il­lus­trated Trump’s knack for self-sab­o­tage.

The fresh hits to Trump’s cred­i­bil­ity can only fur­ther hob­ble the White House’s eco­nomic agenda.

The com­mit­tee hear­ing, how­ever, didn’t pro­duce a knock­out blow, mostly be­cause most as­ser­tions had al­ready been re­ported.

The S&P 500 In­dex and other mar­kets rose dur­ing the hear­ing.

In an ex­traor­di­nary ac­cu­sa­tion, Comey said Trump lied about him, as well as the FBI and an open in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

He said he be­gan doc­u­ment­ing his en­coun­ters with the pres­i­dent af­ter his first meet­ing in Jan­uary be­cause he was con­cerned Trump “might lie” about the dis­cus­sions.

He was also con­fused by the “shift­ing ex­pla­na­tions” re­gard­ing his fir­ing. The pres­i­dent told Comey the dis­missal was based on jus­tice depart­ment rec­om­men­da­tions.

Trump later said it was be­cause of the FBI’s probe into Rus­sian med­dling in last year’s elec­tion and the coun­try’s po­ten­tial ties to the Trump cam­paign. Trump also said the FBI was in dis­ar­ray. “Those were lies, plain and sim­ple,” Comey said. Comey also said Trump didn’t tell the truth about an FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Mike Flynn, who re­signed in Fe­bru­ary over mis­lead­ing state­ments he made to Vice-Pres­i­dent Mike Pence about his con­ver­sa­tions with a Rus­sian diplo­mat.

Trump told re­porters he hadn’t pres­sured Comey to drop the Flynn in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The for­mer FBI boss claimed oth­er­wise, re­call­ing that Trump said he hoped Comey could see to “let­ting Flynn go”.

Comey added that he leaked his Trump meet­ing memos to the me­dia af­ter the pres­i­dent tweeted that he may have tapes of their con­ver­sa­tions.

The pic­ture Comey painted of the pres­i­dent will fur­ther un­der­mine the will­ing­ness of trade part­ners and Democrats to deal with him.

– Reuters

For­mer FBI di­rec­tor James Comey

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