The New York Times reported Friday that President Trump informed Russian officials that his dismissal of FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him, and that Trump called the former FBI director a “nut job.”
According to a report citing a summary of the meeting, Trump said, “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job.” Trump allegedly made the remarks during his May 10 meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House the day following Comey’s firing.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the allegation, and asserted that Comey was fomenting problems in U.S.-Russia relations.
“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.
“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.”
The account was confirmed by two unnamed White House officials, with a third government official contending that Trump used the comments as a negotiating tactic.
UPDATE: Saturday, May 20, Lavrov denied the NY Times story, stating that Trump did not even discuss Comey with them.
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