Putin rushes to Trump's defense, laments US infighting

Brunilde Fioravanti
Мая 20, 2017

The White House denied the report, saying it was "not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey".

In an off-camera briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer appeared to confirm intelligence was passed on by Mr Trump.

"There is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself, and the Russians - zero".

Comey's dismissal last week set off a series of jarring developments that culminated on Wednesday in the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel to probe possible ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

"He also told me that Trump was perceptibly uncomfortable with this answer", wrote Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a critic of Trump.

Day by crisis-filled day, Donald Trump shows he doesn't have the discipline, smarts or demeanor to be president. Trump wrote yesterday morning.

"With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign and Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!" he said, without providing evidence for those claims.

US Republican Senator Marco Rubio was unimpressed with Putin's offer and alluded to alleged Russian hacking of Democratic groups during the US presidential election.

At the centre of the political firestorm are Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his one-time campaign manager Paul Manafort, and their multiple undisclosed contacts with Russian officials during and after the vote.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Trump had not passed on any secrets to Lavrov.

The details of Trump's conversation with Comey come from a series of memos allegedly written by the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director after a meeting with the president in February, following the resignation of Flynn.

Ryan said lawmakers want to hear from Comey about "why he didn't take action at the time" if his allegation that Trump asked him to stop investigating Flynn is true.

Tuesday's episode centered around allegations in a memo that U.S. President Donald Trump had asked former FBI director James Comey to close his investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn over Russian Federation links. "We need the facts". It also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to give the committee any notes Comey might have made regarding discussions he had with White House or Justice Department officials about Russia's efforts to influence the election.

White House aides mostly kept a rare low profile, avoiding going on television.

The appointment of Mueller as special counsel will raise the intensity of the investigation and make it less vulnerable to political interference.

"They've just watched over the last 10 days, people who went out on a limb on the Comey firing, and said it was the result of the memo from the deputy Attorney General, and had their limb sawed off by Donald Trump himself without a flinch", Krauthammer told Baier.

But a leading US Republican politician said he would have little faith in any notes Putin might supply. "That doesn't seize up Congress".

"And we have very important things to be doing right now - whether it's trade deals, whether it's military, whether it's stopping nuclear". But given the bombshell news events since Ryan last went before the Washington press corps almost two weeks ago, the questions did not focus on the major legislative effort he's trying to pursue.

With the 2018 Congressional mid-term elections fast approaching, maybe of Trump's erstwhile allies face a hard campaign dominated by questions about the president's conduct and with few legislative victories to fall back on.

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