Trump on Comey: ‘To­tal sleaze’

News of FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion of pres­i­dent fu­els at­tack

The Arizona Republic - - News - Doug Stan­glin

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, in re­sponse to re­ports that the FBI be­gan an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of him last year to find out whether he had a clan­des­tine agenda to help Rus­sia, said Satur­day that for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey and other “losers” at the bureau “tried to do a num­ber on your Pres­i­dent.”

He called Comey a “to­tal sleaze” and “crooked cop.” The pres­i­dent also took swipes at spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller and T he New York Times, which broke the story Fri­day night. “My fir­ing of James Comey was a great day for Amer­ica,” he tweeted.

Comey re­sponded Satur­day morn­ing in a tweet that quoted Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt: “I ask you to judge me by the en­e­mies I have made.”

The news­pa­per said the de­ci­sion to in­ves­ti­gate Trump him­self was an ag­gres­sive move by FBI of­fi­cials con­fronting the chaotic af­ter­math of the fir­ing of Comey and en­dur­ing the pres­i­dent’s ver­bal as­saults on the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion as a “witch hunt.”

CNN re­ported that coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence agents were in­ves­ti­gat­ing why Trump was act­ing in ways that seemed to ben­e­fit Rus­sia.

Both news or­ga­ni­za­tions said Trump’s fir­ing of Comey was a ma­jor fac­tor prompt­ing the FBI to take ac­tion.

Al­though the re­port was pub­lished Fri­day night and prompted a sharp re­sponse from White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Sanders, Trump did not weigh in un­til 7:05 a.m Satur­day.

“Wow, just learned in the Fail­ing New York Times that the cor­rupt for­mer lead­ers of the FBI, al­most all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad rea­sons, opened up an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on me, for no rea­son & with no proof, after I fired Lyin’ James Comey, a to­tal sleaze!

In a se­ries of tweets, he said the FBI was in “com­plete tur­moil” at the time be­cause of Comey’s “poor lead­er­ship” and his han­dling of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Hillary Clin­ton.

“My fir­ing of James Comey was a great day for Amer­ica,” Trump tweeted. “He was a Crooked Cop who is be­ing to­tally pro­tected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 An­gry Democrats ... ”

He sin­gled out sev­eral FBI agents in his five-part tweet­storm.

“Lyin’ James Comey, An­drew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all dis­graced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a num­ber on your Pres­i­dent,” he tweeted. “Part of the Witch Hunt. Re­mem­ber the ‘in­sur­ance pol­icy?’ This is it!”

Trump was re­fer­ring to charges that some FBI agents, among them McCabe, Peter Str­zok and Page, a col­league Str­zok was in­ti­mately in­volved with, were part of a con­spir­acy to un­der­mine the pres­i­dent.

Ad­dress­ing the Rus­sia as­pect of the Times re­port, Trump said he had been “FAR tougher on Rus­sia than Obama, Bush or Clin­ton. Maybe tougher than any other Pres­i­dent.”

He re­peated his long-held con­tention that “get­ting along with Rus­sia is a good thing, not a bad thing.”

Sanders said in her state­ment Fri­day night that Comey was fired for just cause and that Trump has never fa­vored Rus­sia.

“This is ab­surd. James Comey was fired be­cause he’s a dis­graced par­ti­san hack, and his Deputy An­drew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the FBI. Un­like Pres­i­dent Obama, who let Rus­sia and other for­eign ad­ver­saries push Amer­ica around, Pres­i­dent Trump has ac­tu­ally been tough on Rus­sia.”

The ob­struc­tion probe was an idea the FBI had pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered, but it didn’t start un­til Comey was fired, CNN re­ported. The jus­ti­fi­ca­tion went be­yond Trump’s fir­ing of Comey, CNN said, ac­cord­ing to its sources, and in­cluded the pres­i­dent’s con­ver­sa­tion with Comey in the Oval Of­fice ask­ing him to drop the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn.

Trump in­sisted last year that he didn’t fire Comey be­cause of the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion, de­spite video and doc­u­men­tary ev­i­dence to the con­trary, in­clud­ing an in­ter­view with NBC News.

“I was go­ing to fire Comey know­ing there was no good time to do it,” he told NBC an­chor Lester Holt. “And in fact, when I de­cided to just do it, I said to my­self — I said, you know, this Rus­sia thing with Trump and Rus­sia is a made-up story. It’s an ex­cuse by the Democrats for hav­ing lost an elec­tion that they should’ve won.”

“Not that it mat­ters but I never fired James Comey be­cause of Rus­sia!” Trump tweeted shortly after the fir­ing. “The Cor­rupt Main­stream Me­dia loves to keep push­ing that nar­ra­tive, but they know it is not true!”

The FBI di­rec­tor’s fir­ing is cen­tral to an ob­struc­tion of jus­tice in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­ing con­ducted by Mueller, who is also look­ing into Rus­sian at­tempts to in­flu­ence the 2016 elec­tion ito help Trump.

“He was a Crooked Cop who is be­ing to­tally pro­tected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 An­gry Democrats ... ” Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, on James Comey

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The pres­i­dent’s fir­ing of the FBI di­rec­tor prompted the in­quiry.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.