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FBI chief's unceremonious ouster boomerangs on president

19 Mai 2017

In the new memo to have emerged, Trump asks Comey to "let this go", in reference to the FBI investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

If the claims in his memo are correct, they would appear to offer the most compelling evidence yet that Trump's attempt to shut down the probe could amount to an obstruction of justice that imperils his presidency.

After Mr Comey was sacked, he also tweeted, "James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Now our allies may very well exercise their "absolute right" to clam up on what they know, largely out of fear that Trump, on a whim, may casually spill the beans to the world.

US President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end the agency's investigation into ties between former White House national security advisor Michael Flynn and Russian Federation, according to a source who has seen a memo written by Comey. "I hope you can let this go".

The White House is in a "downward spiral" and needs to do something to get "under control", Republican Senator Bob Corker has said.

The spy had provided Israel with intelligence about a plan by Islamic State, or ISIS, to cause the crash of a passenger jet on the way to the United States, according to the report aired Tuesday evening. The lawmakers also called for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign's possible connections to Russian Federation.

He said he's been waiting for an explanation from the White House about exactly what was said to the Russians in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

A damning performance by Comey could further add to their doubts and leave Trump in deep political peril if his alleged missteps persuade even a Republican Congress to contemplate impeachment proceedings.

Both allegations came from anonymous sources, and the White House was quick to denounce the leaks and deny any impropriety, insisting the president never tried to squelch the Flynn investigation nor did he make inappropriate disclosures to the Russians.

Media reports of the Comey memo prompted members of Congress to renew calls for an independent investigation into the Trump campaign's possible connections to Russian Federation and for Comey to testify before Congress.

Senator Richard Burr, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said, "The burden is on The New York Times" to produce the memo, although other media sources confirmed the contents of the memo.

As news of the story broke, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's communications team were said to have attempted to drown out shouting from the West Wing with a blaring television before McMaster was hurriedly sent out to defuse the growing controversy. When the White House disputed Comey's version, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller's contemporaneous notes were used as confirmation. We need the facts.

The request, signed by Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Republican Jason Chaffetz on Tuesday, includes "memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings" held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It wasn't immediately clear who within the FBI received or saw the memo, including whether acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe did. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office had not responded to requests for comment, while the foreign ministry declined comment.

The White House acknowledged Trump made the decision essentially on the spot.

Yet it seems that Trump gave those possible consequences little rumination before revealing state secrets to a foreign power that, in the unanimous judgment of all 17 intelligence agencies, interfered with the 2016 presidential election. It is part of a paper trail Comey created documenting what he believed to be improper efforts to influence the investigation.

There are a lot of ifs and assumptions in the above.

On Friday, Trump embarks on a world tour that will take him from Riyadh, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech reportedly discussing Islam; to Jerusalem, where he is scheduled to become the first sitting USA president to visit the Western Wall; to the Vatican, where he is expected to meet the pope.