james comey

Justice Department ethics experts have decided Robert Mueller can proceed as the special counsel leading the investigation into the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, despite his former law firm's representing President Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

President Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence chiefs to push back against the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between Russia and his presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported Monday evening.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein knew President Trump planned to fire FBI Director Jim Comey before he sat down to write a memo criticizing Comey's conduct.

That's according to several United States senators who met with Rosenstein Thursday afternoon in a secure room in the Capitol basement.

"He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to writing his memo," Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill told reporters after the briefing.

Updated at 5:57 p.m. ET

In his first on-camera remarks amid burgeoning scandals engulfing his White House, President Trump denied he asked then-FBI Director James Comey to scuttle an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

"No. No. Next question," Trump responded curtly to a reporter during a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday afternoon.

Washington politics spilled over into the financial markets Wednesday, as the week's turmoil — including questions over what President Trump said to former FBI Director James Comey before firing him — has put the administration's pro-business legislative agenda in question, most notably the president's proposed tax cuts.

The elephant in the room whenever talking about President Trump and the Russia investigation is the big I-word — impeachment.

The word had been in the not-so-far reaches of liberal conspiracy talk since Trump was elected. There is a website with more than 976,000 signatures on a petition encouraging Congress to impeach Trump. There is even an "Impeach Donald Trump" Twitter handle.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

Can you rely on what White House officials say on behalf of the U.S. government to be true?

The answer, even by the account of President Trump himself, is no.

Of all the crises and controversies consuming this White House, perhaps none is more fundamental than the collapse of its credibility. And a close look at some of the administration's policies, statements and controversies suggests chief responsibility of that collapse can be laid at the feet of the man who works in the Oval Office.

Updated at 5:51 p.m. ET

President Trump is responding to the backlash against the allegations that he shared "highly classified" information with the Russians by saying he had "the absolute right to do" so.

He tweeted Tuesday morning:

And he went a step further, again taking aim at fired former FBI Director James Comey and "leakers":

Republicans in Congress are calling for briefings and pleading for "less drama" at the White House following revelations that President Trump shared classified intelligence with Russia — but most are muted in their criticism of him.

For the leader of Senate Republicans, the biggest concern is that the controversy over Trump's sharing of secrets — with the successor to what Republican President Ronald Reagan once labeled the "evil empire" — is that it's distracting lawmakers from their legislative program.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump revealed "highly classified information" to two top Russian officials during a controversial Oval Office meeting last week, according to a report from The Washington Post.

The White House continues to refuse to address questions raised by a tweet from President Trump last week implying he has a taping system in the Oval Office.

On Friday morning, Trump said former FBI director James Comey, whom Trump fired last Tuesday, "had better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Until now, all the controversy over President Trump, his associates and their various connections with various Russians has been billows of smoke without a visible fire.

Updated at 7:33 p.m. ET

Aboard a short flight on Air Force One Saturday, President Donald Trump told reporters he could find a new leader to fill the vacancy left by sacked FBI Director James Comey by this Friday, when he leaves on his first foreign trip since taking office.

After comments that the administration intends to move "very quickly" on the process, a reporter in the White House press pool asked the president if that could mean finding a permanent replacement to spearhead the agency by the end of the week. His response: "Even that is possible."

Donald Trump wasn't the first president to think the mainstream media was "fake news" — and determined to do something about it.

In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was irritated with reporting on a leaked conversation between himself and senators that portrayed his position toward the emerging threat of Germany as "the American frontier is on the Rhine." In other words, FDR appeared to be pledging — in private — not to allow Germany to get far beyond its borders, thereby making it likely he would commit America to war.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” another day, another tweetstorm from POTUS. Among some of his early morning posts, Trump tweeted that former FBI director James Comey "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"

Updated at 9:25 p.m. ET

President Trump suggested on Twitter Friday morning there might be recordings of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired earlier this week, in an apparent attempt to caution Comey against "leaking to the press."

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska was one of several Republicans in Washington voicing concern. As details unfolded throughout the week, Sasse, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, continued to call the timing of the firing "troubling," though he maintains there is not yet a need for an independent investigation or special prosecutor to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

President Trump now says he made the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey on his own.

That's a shift from the original White House statement, which said the president acted on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. ET

Undermining the prior rationale laid out by the White House, President Trump said he decided to fire James Comey as FBI director without regard to the Justice Department's recommendation.

"It was set up a while ago," Trump admitted to NBC's Lester Holt in his widest-ranging remarks about his firing of Comey. "And frankly, I could have waited, but what difference does it make?"

He added, "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey."

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

The absence of former FBI Director James Comey loomed large over the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing with top U.S. intelligence leaders, but his temporary replacement, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, assured lawmakers he would not bend to pressure from the White House.

"You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution," McCabe said.

Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images

Before President Trump fired James Comey on Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee already had planned one of its regular oversight hearings where the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community check in with the panel.

In response to President Trump's surprising firing Tuesday night of FBI Director James Comey, congressional Republicans largely maintained a united front and resisted calls for a special prosecutor to helm the ongoing investigation into Russia and the election.

However, cracks in that unity began to emerge in the day that followed, with key senators and some vulnerable House members voicing concern over how the White House handled Comey's dismissal.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo

Today on “Political Rewind,” President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey late yesterday and the reaction has been loud and partisan. Some have gone as far as to suggest Trump has committed treason, while others say the firing is completely understandable, inevitable, and not connected the Russia investigation. Our panel digs in on the hottest topic in the country today.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were interviewing four candidates Wednesday to serve as interim FBI director, following the firing of James Comey.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Questions about the abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey swirled on Wednesday, but Comey himself reportedly told staff he would not "spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won't either."

In a farewell letter, Comey said, according to CNN, "It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply." He added:

The White House says President Trump fired James Comey because of how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The president, who campaigned before crowds that chanted, "Lock her up," is telling the American people that he summarily fired the FBI director, by letter, because he went outside Department of Justice protocols in speaking out about the Clinton investigation months ago.

Updated at 11:00 p.m. ET

For months, Democrats in Congress have criticized and questioned FBI Director James Comey about his handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

Still, they've met President Trump's surprising Tuesday evening decision to fire Comey with near-universal outrage.

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