A day after firing FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov. What he told him is mind-blowing.
According to a new report in the New York Times, Trump told the Russian diplomat that ousting Comey — who had requested additional funding for the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation days before he was let go — relieved “great pressure” from his administration.
“[Comey] was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to a document describing the conversation between the two in the White House, which the Times alleged was read to them by an unnamed American official.
“I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,” Trump said, before incorrectly adding, “I’m not under investigation.”
The report appears to contradict Trump’s official reasoning for firing Comey, which was that he only did so upon the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Of course, Trump actually dashed that narrative all on his own in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt a few days after the Comey firing, in which President Trump said the decision to fire the former FBI director had already been made prior to receiving the recommendation.
It also recently became known that Rosenstein knew Trump was going to fire Comey prior to him writing the memo, particularly since Attorney General Jeff Sessions was apparently tasked with looking for justification to fire Comey before the decision was officially handed down.
Most notably, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not refute the account, saying that the “pressure” Trump alluded to was diplomatic in nature, as Russia and the United States are both attempting to wipe out ISIS forces in Syria.
“By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” Spicer said in a public statement. “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”
During the same meeting with both Foreign Minister Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, President Trump disclosed highly classified information about ISIS originally obtained by Israel, which did not give Trump permission to share the information. Israel’s rationale is that information shared about sensitive Israeli sources could make its way from Moscow to Tehran, the capital of Iran, which is both an ally of Russia and an enemy of Israel.
Jamie Green is a contributor to the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.