Best-case scenario, a counterintelligence investigation focused on Russian election tampering organically led to members of the Trump campaign and FBI resources were dispatched to investigate. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from any investigations of the Trump campaign, due to potential conflicts of interest. "What goes around, comes around!"
Trump has gradually escalated his rhetoric on the matter this week, coining it "spygate" and tweeting on Wednesday: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State". Trump and his allies have sought to cast that as inappropriate political spying.
Comey avoided answering questions about the ongoing Mueller probe and his own role in the earlier version of the investigation, but he scoffed at Trump's accusation this week that the FBI had planted a spy inside his 2016 campaign. If they were sufficiently anxious, he said, they could stop doing business in those places.
In a later tweet Wednesday morning, Trump took issue with Clapper's assessment that the then-GOP nominee should have been grateful for the FBI's surveillance. 'Spying on a campaign would be illegal, and a scandal to boot!' The Justice Department had resisted sharing information, saying it jeopardized the source.
Giuliani said he speaks with the president most days and that Trump appreciates the vociferous defense he gives him on TV. "You have to have transparency".
"They also conveyed the President's understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government", the statement said. And given how much politically damaging information federal authorities possessed about the Trump campaign before Election Day - and chose not to disclose - the president's charge does not even make logical sense.
European Union tells Iran it will try to protect firms from U.S. sanctions
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the meeting had been a good start, but he wanted to see guarantees materialise. Moscow would have to play a key role in ensuring Tehran does not resume its nuclear programme, he said.
"What is the point of the separate briefing if not to cause partisan trouble?" he said. "Although he did not participate in the meetings which followed, as the White House's attorney handling the Special Counsel's investigation, his involvement - in any capacity - was entirely improper, and I made this clear to him".
US President Donald Trump took fresh aim on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) at former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, writing on Twitter that the man he fired a year ago was "a bad and corrupt leader who inflicted great pain" on his agency. Trump wrote on Twitter. They brought documents but did not share them, and made several remarks about the importance of protecting intelligence sources and methods. "How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?".
Nunes, an ardent Trump supporter, has been demanding information on an FBI source in the Russian Federation investigation.
"I don't know where he's getting that from, honestly", Comey said. The howls are a diversion from the actual crisis: the Justice Department's unprecedented contempt for duly elected representatives, and the lasting harm it is doing to law enforcement and to the department's relationship with Congress.
Comey said he could not comment directly on the claim, floated this week by Trump and Republican supporters in Congress. This was a bad situation.
Shortly after 9:30 a.m., he fired off a two-word message in all capital letters: "WITCH HUNT!"