tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN May 10, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
choice and in reality many were not attende1 predominantly whit institutions. devosçóññrñr later tried to wal her comments bu$çó the backlash obviously continues. obviously continues. that's it for "lead." i'm jake tapper. i'll see you tonight at 11:00 p.m. on theñi fallout from jame comey'sñr firing. jejuhko wolf blitzer. thanks for watching. happening now. -7ññi news. the nalout. shock andñr ñioutrage over prest trump's sudden firing of fbiñi director james connelly just as theñi investigation intoñi russ campaign meddling and its contacts with trump associates were picking up speed. will the next fbi chief have any independence in the conflicting story. the white house says the in comey over several months, but just last weekñr itt(xd said it confidence in the fbi chief, and theçó president has repeatedly praised comey.
now the knives areñr out. what's the realñrçóñi story?>l+r the investigation. what happens to the multi-pronged investigation inti russia's election interference and its contacts with the trump camp. democrats are demanding an independent special prosecutor. will they shut down the senate until they get one. and the optics. could it look any worse? hours after firing comey the president was all smiles as he met with russia's ambassador to the united states, a key figure in the investigation and with russia's foreign minister who early joked to reporters about the fbi directors's firing. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." breaking news. president trump sends off shock waves with sudden firing of fbi director james comey in the middle of an investigation into russia's election meddling and the trump camp's russian contacts.
the president said he acted because comey, quote, was not doing a good job although the president often praised comey and the white house a week ago stressed that the white house had confidence in comey. the white house now says the president lost that confidence over several months. administration officials have launched an all-out assault on the ousted chief saying he went around the chain of command and committed, quote, atrocities in the clinton owe mail investigations. there's no evidence that the president used atrocities in discuss is syria with russia reese foreign minister and ambassador whose contacts with fired national security advisers michael flynn made him a key figure in the controversy. the president said the meeting was, quote, very, very good. heading into earlier talks with secretary of state tillerson, russian foreign minister sergei lavrov seemingly joked about comey's firing. more than anything, the timing of comey's firing has outraged
congressional democrats and more than a few republicans. leaders of the senate intelligence committee have now invited comey to testify next week, and democrats are remanding a special prosecutor in the russia investigation, someone far removed from the whi)%ñ house. i'll talk to senate intelligence committee chairman mark warner and our correspondents and specialists areñr standing by wh full coverage of the day's breaking news. president trumpig nighteded a firestorm with his sudden dismissal of fbi chief james comey and so far white house explanations are just not adding up. let's begin with our senior white house correspondent jeff zell any. what are you learning? >> reporter: we're exactly 24 hours into this story, exactly hat this point yesterday when the president started to advise senators and others that he hadçóñi indeed fired the fbi director. last night we were led to believe that the president was following the recommendation of his acting deputy attorney
general and today we learned the president has been considering this since being elected but afterñm/ speaking to multiple people, our reporting points to the fact that the president was leery of james comey and was worried about that russia investigation and that's why he fired him. >> thank you very much for being here. appreciate it. >> reporter: still one question above all others for trump. >> why did you fire detector comby in. >> because he wasn't doing a good job. >> kevin: thoefs parse words is all he had to say about why he firedñrñi james comey. >> the announce president rocked washington. >> this establishes a very troubling pattern. >>5açó vice presidepresident t kind of strong and devise of leadership that the american
people have come to be asus tommed from him and he took the action necessary to remove director comey. >> reporter: as protesters gathered outside the white house. inside the west wing the administration struggled to not only explain why comey was fired but why now. >> the president had lost confidence in comey fromçó the y he was elected. >> deputy white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders said today the president has long been leery of comey even though he said the opposite? i have confidence in him. we'll see what happens andñi ju last week the-of- >> the president has company dense in the director. >> the time line and its contradictions matter to determine whether it was the president or rod rosenstein who considered his firing. the president reached his decision only after.
>> because of the actions that the deputy attorney general outlined to the president that were endorsed and agreed with by the attorney general, the president madeñiñi the rightñrt decision at the right time. >> the answer inside the white house briefing room was far less clear. >> do you regret not doing it earlier like on january 20thth or 21st? >> no, i believe the president wanted to give director comb' chance but he feels that he made the right decisions. >> the president's abrupt firing of comey drew quick parallels to the nixon administration's saturday night massacre and firing of watergate special prosecutor archibald cox.ñi the white house did little to dó anything for those historical facts. >> everybody knows dr. kissinger and we're right now talking about russia. >> reporter: and today invited to sit along the president in the oval office. whether tone deaf or intensionally ironic, russia front andest?
at the white house and the president even smiling in the oval office with the u.s. ambassador, sergey kislyak, considered a top spy. the white house insisted the russia investigation comey was leadinging had nothing to do with his dismissal despite the president invoking that in his letter to comey. while i greatly appreciate you informing me hon three separate occasions i'm not under investigation, i condewer with the department of justice, that you're not able to effectively lead with the bureau and it was that memoçó that ended comey's tenure at the fbi. >> why did he have one of his longtime security advisers and deliver a letter to the fbi when had the fbi was in fact in los angeles? didn't he deserve a phone call or a face-to-face -- >> he followed the power protocol in that instance which
is handwritten note face and at the same time in a matter how you fire someone it's never an easy process so he felt like following protocol was the best thing to do. >> reporter: wolf, we're learning a short time ago the president finished meeting with the acting director of the fbi, andrew mccabe. he came to the white house and did not see him enter or leave. he was here meeting face to face with the president. the white house is actively searching for a replacement, getting input from cap hull and other places but even when they bring someone n. the reality is this has stirred up something that trump investigation did not want. >> the timing of the fbi chief's firing hasxd infuriated democra and more than a few republicans are also voicing deepñi concern. let's bring in hour chief
national correspondent jim schulto. jim, there are now growing calls for an independent outside investigation. >> the number of democrats calling for the possibility of the independent council which would have sweeping powers. a very small number of republicans calling for a step below that which would be an independent commission in the style of the 9/11 commission perhaps, butñi privately many democrats and republicans expressing alarm at what appears to many of them appears to be an overstepping of the çóñrpresidei authority. >> reporter: there's still ongoing investigations into trump campaign associates colluded with the russian government. the white house is nowxdñi downplaying the importance ofçó that they have got going on their plate. >> reporter: some lawmakers, however, are now demanding that
the justice gu q5qxd appoint a special prosecutor, independent of the administration and capitol hill to lead the çóprob >> were those investigations getting too close to home for the president? if there was everñiñiñixd añr t circumstances warranted a special prosecutor, it is right now. >> reporter: thoset( circumstances, sources tell cnn that just days before being fired fbiçó director james come asked deputy attorney general rod rosensteinçó for more funds for the investigation, an account the justice department denies. if the prudors issued grand jury speensas to associates of former national security advisers michael flynn seeking business records and russian investigators have sent a request to the treasury department for any financial information related to president trump, his top officials and campaign aides. >> the decision to fire comey
raises questions about the appropriateness and timing of firing the person in charge of an investigation that could, i won't say would, but could implicate the administration. to this this happen and happen now is beyond surprising. at his confirmationering a deputy attorney general rosenstein was open to the possibility of appointing an independent prosecutor if warranted. >> i'm willing to appoint a special prosecutor whenever i deem it appropriate. >> reporter: today senate republican leader mitch mcconnell said a special prosecutor isn't necessary. >> today we'll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation which could only serve to impede the current work. >> reporter: and the white house agreed. >> we don't think it's necessary. you've got a house commit, a senate commit and the department of justice all working on this. >> reporter: we also heard sanders today as the president
has done before say that there is no evidence of trump campaign or associates, collusion with russia, that that part of the investigation have closed. fact is, i've spoken today and yesterday to both democratic and republican members. house and senate intelligence committees who are now investigating that question and they all tell me, wolf, that they are still investigating. that's an open question whether there was collusion and cooperation between trump associates during the campaign and russian officials, other russian officials known to u.s. intelligence including the russian chairman senator richard burr. >> that's the heart of this investigation and it continues as we speak. in fact this, seems to be getting some steam. thanks very much for that report. jim sciutto. leaders of the senate intelligence committee have invited james comey to testify next week. joining us now, the vice chairman of the senate senate intelligence committee, senator mark western of virginia. senator, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me, wolf. >> have you received a reply from comey? have you gotten a response to this invitation to appear before
your committee next week? >> we have not received a response. i'm frankly not surprised had. he's got to have a tumultuous last 24 hours, you know. i do expect that we'll hear from him shortly. we have the administration laying out a case that i think is frankly in it wasn't so serious would be laughable that somehow he was being fired because he didn't handle. hillary clinton scandal appropriately. that doesn't pass the smell test so i think it would be appropriate for director comey to come in and close testimony and give his side of the story. >>the why does it is have to be enclosed, in a closed session, behind closes doors. ? why not let the american public listen to what he has to say. >> well, wolf, again, he'll have an opportunity if he wants to make a public statement. i believe that he would want to comment perhaps on things. he'll still be bound by rules of confidentiality and his knowledge of classified information, but, again, within a closed setting we can get into some of those details that in a
open hearing you can. >> you and the chairman, senator burr of north carolina, he was then still the fbi director james comey on monday. tell us about that meeting. was there any indication about what what was to happen 24 hours later. >> two comments, wolf. first of all, yesterday when there was this announcement, thought hi come to the point where nothing this president or this administration could do would surprise me, but yesterday's announcement of the firing of jim comey shocked me, so i'll leave that part of that. in terms of my private conversation, what you alluded to any private conversation with jim comey, that will stay between me and other folks in the room. >> as you know, he had been requesting more resources from the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein for this russia investigation. the justice department is denying that, but we have it on very good sources that he was asking for more help, more money, more resources.
what can you tell us about that. >> again, i'm not going to get into any of the contents of my private conversation. i do think it's safe to say that, you know, until mr. rosenstein had been in place, that there was not someone that he could report to because the previous individual had been more of a placeholder. as somebody who supported mr. roents i'm, he's really lost a lot of my confidence, the fact that he put his name attached to this smear memo against jim comey and now he's being asked to basically continue the investigation after he just fired the guy leading the investigation, that's why i've joined with a lot of other democrats and republicans saying we need a special independent prosecutor. that would not interfere at all with the senate investigation. we would have different goals. our goals are fact-finding. the goal of the special investigator, special prosecutor would be to potentially bring criminal charges. they are not mutually exclusive by i definitely believe mr. rosenstein has some
explaining to do. are you going to call him to testify as well? >> stay tuned on all thosish uses. >> so i take it at this point you've lost your confidence in the deputy attorney general? >> what i don't understand is why within the first week of him being officially on the job he would fire an fbi director that had a ten-year term and then fire with a set of explanations that was so blatantly laugh and, that somehow this president's concerns about how mr. comey handled the clinton scandal e-mails eight or nine months ago didn't pass the smell test of anybody. you know, in this up to nobody believed that memo so if he wants me to regain my trust he has to say how he can make sure this investigation is independent and won't get squashed by the white house and follow the facts. let's step back for a second and look at what has happened just in the first 100 days. anybody affiliated with russia and trump seems to not have a very long career. sally yates, the acting attorney
general got fired. preet bharara and a lot of u.s. attorneys, some were looking into this issue got fired. jim comey got fired. michael flynn who failed to relay some of his russian cop tacts got fire. the attorney general jeff sessions has had to recuse himself. anyone who seems to touch this topic doesn't last long in trump land. >> what kind of impact do you think the dismissal of comby will have and your senate intelligence committee investigation, and do you think the evidence that's been collected so far in this investigation is secure? >> i think the evidence is secure. i think we're going to have to redouble our efforts because if we don't know if there's truly going to bexd an fbi continuing investigation because director comey indicated that that investigation was ongoing, it's really incumbent upon us to work in a bipartisan way to get this done. i've been impact with the pace. i think the pace will pick up o do thisññiñi in a
timely manner. the american public deserves the truth. need to do it the right way, noó necessarily the fastest way. >> chairmanñi burr says there's callsçó for a new outside investigation by açó special prosecutor in his words are not help until. respond to that. do you think you could get support frcñiñãany significant number of republicans for this kind of outside independent investigation? >> that's a good question, wolf. i think time will tell. i believe that they are -- that a special independent prosecutors would pursue the criminal investigation, possible criminal investigation. that would be a separate track. our senate investigation would still be on its track. they are not mutually exclusive. we can go back to history and look at watergate, where there was a special prosecutor and a senate investigating committee, so i would like to try to convince the chairman otherwise, but i do know the chairman and i spent a great deal of time today with the staff. we're still hard at it and we're coming now into the meat of the investigation which isçó some o thexdxd figures that were affild
with mr. trump. >> in addition to meeting with the russian foreign minister in the white house today sergei laugher yofrk theñrxd presidentr met with the russian ambassador to the united states, sergey kislyak. you see a pictureçó ofçó them=q smiling and shakingxd hands. kislyak was describegr as u.s. intelligence as a spyñr recruit in addition to being the russian ambassador to the unst!d states. looking at this picture and thii meeting, what kind of message does this send toçó you? >> içó know this meetingñi wasçf pre-planned andñr as somebody w is not a trump supporter at alló optics than thisçóñi meeting happening xpv you feel a little sorrsi perhap for the white house staff, but the truth is anyone who seems to interact often with ambassador kislyak seems to get in trouble as well. those conversations between general flynn and ambassador kislyak lend to theñi dismissalf general flynn as national ]q(u)ityñr adviser. some ofç'jut unreported contacts between jeff sessions
and kislyak led toxdi his recu and kislyak led toxdi his recu now asñi attorney generalw3 undñ thei]ñr invdqtigation. i accept atçda(÷ value somexd o theñi charges that mr. kislyak while a seasoned diplomat is also a seasoned spy. >> i know you told us earlier, senator, that is correct if -- if comey accepts your invitation to come and appear before your committee next woke it would be behind closed doors but will you commit at least at some point having a public hearing with jim comey. you agree, the american public e deserves to hear all of this evidence. >> once he can get anything he wants to tell us in a classified setting, you know, relayed to us, i would use all the powers of persuasion i would have to try to convince him to hold and appear before a public setting as well. he's now a private set sin. he'll have to make the judgments on his hone, but i was not one of the democrats who called for jim comey's removal. i have a lot of respect for jim
comey. i think he always seeks out the truth. i don't always agree with his tactics but i don't think anyone would question his motivation. he would stabbed up to what appears to be pretty up believable white house pressure. >> would you ever considerñi hiring jim comey to help in your investigation? your colleague senator blumenthal suggested it. >> angus king who is on the committee also suggested it. i would love to hire somebody of jim comey's merit and knowledge, particularly of complicated investigations. i'm not sure all the rest of the colleagues would agree, but if he'sing to take on that role i would work to try to cop vince my colleagues that we ought to use him. >> senator warner, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, wolf. >> we've got more breaking news coming into "the situation room." we'll resume our special coverage right after this. hi guys. it's great to be here. in the desert.
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and i believe it happened based on that information. and if it did the fact that was made by the white house within days to terminate comey rather than give him the resources he needs tells us two things. number one, he was in hot pursuit of some valuable information and just didn't have the -- the horses necessary to reach his goal, and secondly, if we're going to have an investigation by anyone else, the senate intelligence commit or whatever it happens to be, they need the resources.
they need to make sure it's a thorough investigation. >> are you saying that the request for more resources by the fbi director to pursue this investigation, that there is a direct connection between that and the president's decision a few days later to go ahead and fire him. >> absent other evidence that's a credible conclusion. if you're in the trump white house and you know that they are looking for collusion by members of the trump twain, it's pretty clear they are in hot pursuit when they are asking for more resources for investigation. at that point he decided the best thing to do is terminate james comby. >> senator dianne feinstein, another of your colleagues called for the deputy attorney general and the fbi depp till director and the acting director andrew mccabe to appear before your senate judiciary committee. have you received a response on that request? >> i don't believe we've received a response yes. i hope we do. there are questions. i voted for mr. rosenstein just a few days ago.
there are questions i would like to ask him. number one, if this is about the professionalism in the didn't of jutstition by the director of the fbi, why did you not include in yourñr statementñi anxdñiñr and one clear that we were going to continue the investigation of the russian collusion so there's a professional reason rather than a political reason. would i have expected that had from mr. roents sglin he was confirmed 94-6, as you point out, your yay vote in favor of him. do you still have confidence in the deputy attorney general rod rosenstein? he's been on job for two weeks. >> i'm shaken on his memorandum, that he would sign off standing up for the good treatment of hillary clinton for events that happened ten months ago and decide this week, yesterday, to ice there that as a basis for terminating james comey really stretches imagination and the fact that he does not say in that that they are going toçó continue the fbi investigation is troublesome as well.
>> is that yes or no about confidence in. >> well, let me shay my confidence is shaken. that's why i hope he'll appear before the committee and we can ask questions directly. >> senator durbin, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. we'll continue our breaking news coverage right after this. i joined the army in july of '98. i did active duty 11 years. and two in the reserves. our 18 year old was in an accident. when i call usaa it was that voice asking me, "is your daughter ok?" that's where i felt relief. it actually helped to know that somebody else cared and wanted make sure that i was okay. that was really great. we're the rivera family, and we will be with usaa for life. usaa. we know what it means to serve. call today to talk about your insurance needs.
a good job. a photo we just got. the former fbi director at his home in northern virginia, obviously very casually dressed on this day after he was fired by the president. let's bring in our specialists and rebecca berg, you know, senator widon, he wants to put a hold on the investigation. how effective could the strategy be? >> it gets public attention for this ouster of comey by the president, and that's what is democrats are going to want, wolf. moving forward they are going to want to keep this in the news, keep this in the spotlight and keep pressure on the republicans to approve a collect committee or independent counsel for this and move this forward in some sort of tangible way. democrats sense an opportunity here, wolf, a political opportunity and an opportunity to apply pressure on republicans where maybe they didn't have one before, and the suggest today
based on what republicans have been saying in response to this is that they are feeling that pressure. you're seeing republicans acknowledging for the first time that this is something troubling, that they are troubled by the timing. before this you haven't seen those sorts of questions about something that donald trump has done from republicans. >> david chelios, now almost exactly 24 hours almost to the minute when this story, when we first found out that comey had been fired by the president, and there have been some revisions in the white house explanation, the story today at the white house press briefing, deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders, she continued some of those recisions. here's the question. why has this story evolved as much as it hasñxbui over the pa 24 hours? >> i think it gets precisely what rebecca just said about republicans in town also having questions about why now. it's because the first version of the story as to why he was fired wasn't holding up, and so they needed to add to it and round it out, because the idea that this was all because of
investigation and hang it completely on that wasn't hor$%ng çw(uq)çó andñpi wasn't g wrter because t new fact patternñi and then we learned thatx4r( the president has been considering getting rid of james comey since he enter the office on day one since he was news rated, the year before in july of 2016, that he does think it's a problem that he went around the attorney general and went out of protocol in the justice department. if these things were anathema, a, why was he praising him in the fall and, b, why was action comey had already publicly when- declared when he was overseeing, the organization that was overseeing this investigation into the russian ties and that he went up to the hill and testified about it a couple of times. >> can i just elaborate on this had a little bit. the reason the white house story wasn't holding together because it wasn't true and it's still not true. the idea that hillary clinton's -- the unfairness to
hillary clinton had anything to do with the firing of jim comby is simply absurd. i think anyone who has followed this story can tell that, and the reason he was fired is because of the russia investigation. you know, they can say anything that they want, but the idea that this had to do with hillary clinton, like -- that jim comey was too mean to hillary clinton, it is absurd. >> you heard sarah huckabee sanders at the press briefingñp filling in for sean spicer say that theyñiñi --x$$u$eyñi wereñ upsett( at his testimony last week, comey's testimony last week, his explanation for theñr hillary clintonñr e-mail investigation and subsequently the correction this week he had to release explaining that he misspoke a bit on the e-mails that huma abedin, hillary clinton's aide had submitted to her husband's anthony weiner's computer and had to correct the
record. that's the reason the president lost confidence. >> the only more absurd explanation that james comey was too mean to hillary clinton was that james comey was too mean to huma abedin. d-4aî with this firing is absu and this was a result and they are backing into various reasons, but the real reason has been clear from the moment 24 hours ago that it was announced. huma abedin, hillary clinton had nothing do with it. >> the deputy press secretary also said another reason why he was fired is because the rank and file, phil, the fbi had lost confidence in the director. you used to work at the fbi. what can you tell us about that. >> are you kidding me? throw something against the wall and let's figure out what sticks. these guys, that is the attorney general and the deputy attorney general have by my estimate, counting the numbers, 14 or 15 weeks in the business.t( there's 50-plus fbi field officers across the united
states in alaska and hawaii and 30,000-plus officers, most of them, 88% of them don't work on russia on terrorism, on white collar crime, on gangs, on drugs, on things that they are passionate b.most of them don't know the fbi director and these folks areñr telling us that the had enough of aqñi pulseñixdqe$i to advise the white house that that was a reason, morale, for i'm with jeffrey. these answers get funnier and funnier. tomorrow it's because he didn't pay park tickets. they are trying to find out what sticks and they haven't found anything else. >> you can't make this stuff up. on this day, david chillian, after the fbi director was fired, i think everybodyxd tend áuáárp' probe, the russian i wi investigation, the president meets in the oval office not but the russian ambassador to the united statesi theáesmñ picture courtesy of the russian foreignñt( minister sergey kislyak meeting with + president. they are both smiling big time
it. you can't make this kind of stuff up. >> you captain, and, you know, sometimes we get a little too wound up talking about optics, but not this time and not with this president who is consumed by oingts, so on the day after he fired the fbi director who is overseeing the investigation into hisçó xdcampaign's russia , the day after he did, that the only time we've seen him in public are with russians and with the nixon ally henry kissinger. those were theñr optics that he wanted to putçó out the day aft. >> and he banned the american fromñi the russian foreign ministry so the land of james madison's first amendment, we can't go take pictures there, but russia where they kill journalists, they are the ones who are allowed in. >> how astounding is it that the president showed more respect for these russian visitors than for his fbi director when he fired him? he didn't give james comey the respect to bring him into the oval office and say i'm letting you go, i'm firing you.
didn't even call him on phone. a letter was delivered to fbi headquarters. james comey found out when he was addressing his fbi agents and analysts in los angeles. i mean, it's astounding. >> he could have had the courtesy, and you used to work at the fbi to bring him in, explain and then fire him, and he could have waited for the inspector general's report at the department of justice to come out on whether or not comey did do anything wrong. >> this looks political from the mutside. let me tell you what it looks like as añi practitioner. the president acted in a cowardly fashion. you have that much service, decades of service-ins decade for far less money than you could ever get on the outside. people on both sides of the aisle would say james comey made mistakes and would all say he's honorable and the president can't pick up the phone and thank you for your service and can shake the hands of someone who was involved in subverting an election. you've got to be kidding me. this is outrageous. >> and the president isn't really showing any sort of alarm
that russia did interfere in the election. there's prod consensus now that this happened. doesn'tçóñi seem committed to finding any short of preventive measures or a solution for the next election which this is going to be a concern moving forward. everyone in the intelligence community agrees on this it. as president he should show some interest in actually solving this problem moving forward. >> jeffrey, the attorney general recused himself from having any role in the russian investigation because he served in the campaign, was a big supporter, but he was directly involved in this decision to go ahead and fire comey. how do you explain that? >> i don't know. how do you explain it? >> i explain it by saying the hell with the recusal. they don't care. >> remember, sessions was one of the trump associates who had actually met with the russian ambassador kislyak. >> even their own rules don't apply to them. you know, by asserting that this firing had nothing to do with russia, they get to have
sessions participate, but, i çó mean, it is not -- it is -- it is completely absurd but with the republican congress no one is going to say anything about it. >> rod rosenstein, that mark warner interview you did, now there's going to be much more pressure to hear from rob rosenstein, to explain this letter that he wrote. you heard mark warner who voted for him to confirm said he lost confidence in him and that he's amazed that he attached his name to the smear memo of jim comey, someone that voted to confirm now wants to -- >> i spoke to senator cardin of baltimore, where rosenstein was the u.s. attorney and he voted for him as well hemp's lost confidence as well. all right, guys. stand by. coming up, some of the most obvious reasons that everyone believe president trump had confidence in the former fbi director james comey. he stayed himself, repeatedly, and on camera. >> it took guts for director
comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition that he had. the best simple veggie dish ever? heart healthy california walnuts. the best simple dinner ever? heart healthy california walnuts. great tasting, heart healthy california walnuts. so simple. get the recipes at walnuts.org.
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about james comey over past year. what we found are repeated reversals and contradiction which are casting doubt from the white house. president trump tonight vigorously defending the firing of the fbi director who he claims lost his confidence. >> because he wasn't doing a good job, very simply. he was wasnn't doing a good job. >> rosenstein now calls mishandling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. quote the way the director handled the conclusion eest mof e-mail investigation was wrong. >> our system is absolutely totally rigged. >> he kept up criticism into the fall. >> he let her off the hook. >> after comey reopened the investigation just days before the election, trump repeatedly diffusively praised comey. >> i respect the fact that
director comey was able to come back after what he did. >> i have to give the fbi credit, that is so bad what happened originally. and it took guts for director comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had with trying to protect her from criminal prosecution. good job, by the fbi. >> here's trump just three days before the election. >> as you know, the fbi, and i give them a lot of credit, because they are fighting forces that they're not supposed to be fighting. >> and his now attorney general, just two days before election day with fox news. >> fbi director comey did the right thing when he found new evidence. >> five days after the election, trump wavered when asked by 60 minutes if he asked for comb ooo comey's resignation. >> i haven't made up my mind. i respect him a lot. he's become more famous than me.
>> just after his inauguration, trump singled out comey for praise and handshake at the white house. >> i have confidence in him. we will see what happens. >> three weeks later, six days before comey's firing, trump's press secretary repeated that. >> the president has confidence in the director. >> but now the white house says that donald trump has not had confidence in comey for last six months. >> the president lost confidence in comey from the day he was elected. >> so those contradictions now clear, the president publicly praised james comey expressed confidence in him during a period when the white house now says he had lost confidence in him. those contradictions potentially casting doubt now on the claim from comey's immediate boss rod rosenstein that this was all about the miss handling of the clinton investigation last year. wolf, shortly before the election, trump was generously praising comey. >> yes he was.
bri brian todd, thanks for that report. shock and fury over president trump's sudden firing of the fbi director james comey in the middle of the investigation into the russia election meddling and context with the trump camp. >> back at end of october, this president was applauding the fbi director when he reopened the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mail. you seemed quite happy with him that point. what changed? >> i think the president's position. oh no, looks like somebody needs a new network. when i got this unlimited plan they told me they were all the same. they're not. verizon has the largest, most-reliable 4g lte network in america. it's basically made for places like this. honey, what if it was just us out here? right. so, i ordered you a car. thank you. you don't want to be out here at night 'cause of the, uh, coyotes. ok, thanks, bud. bye. be nice to have your car for some shelter. bye. when it really, really matters, you need the best network and the best unlimited. just $45 per line for four lines.
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director rattled washington amid the shock and confusion new details are emerging tonight. who will replace the ousted fbi chief? the white house struggles to justify the decision to fire james comey citing everything from alleged atrocities in the clinton e-mail probe to lost confidence. why did the white house press secretary affirm the president's confidence in comey just a week ago? russia probe, cnn learned days before he was fired. comey asked the justice kept for more resources to expand the probe into russian interference in the u.s. election and ties to the trump campaign with comey out, what happens to that investigation now? and white house visitors. president trump meets with the russian foreign minister and russian ambassador to the united states at the white house. images highlighting controversy dogging his presidency. and 10 minutes later, he welcomed formerix
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