FBI director calls for review of Trump-Russia probe
The FBI director has called for a review of the Russia probe, a senior official told The Hill.
James Comey, who was fired on May 9, 2016, said in a memo obtained by The Hill that he believes “the president’s words are true” when he said that the FBI has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential ties between Russia and members of Trump’s campaign.
The FBI, he wrote, “cannot be trusted to act independently of the White House and cannot be trusted with sensitive intelligence matters.”
Comey wrote that he “found myself in a position to support President Trump’s view of events” in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly on May 12.
“I don’t want to be too judgmental about whether or not it’s correct,” he wrote.
“But it was the view I was being offered.”
He wrote that Trump’s remarks “confirmed” the bureau’s view that Russia was trying to influence the 2016 election and “to undermine confidence in the democratic process.”
“This is why we have a special counsel, and why we must get to the bottom of what the president said,” Comey wrote.
He also said Trump “appeared to have been very emphatic” in his assessment of the investigation, which he said was a matter for Congress to investigate.
“We know now he wasn’t kidding when he made that statement,” Comey added.
“We know he was right.”
The White House, however, said Comey’s comments were taken out of context.
“Director Comey’s statement was a clear and forceful endorsement of the work the FBI is doing to investigate Russia’s attempts to influence our elections, and he strongly supports the bipartisan approach that has been adopted to address this issue,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.
Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats of politicizing the Russia investigation and has refused to provide any evidence of any ties between his campaign and Russia.
Democrats have also said the Trump administration should be more transparent with Congress.