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James Comey Believes Donald Trump's Reason For Firing Him - The Russia Scandal

Fired FBI Director James Comey told a congressional panel Thursday morning that he assumes he lost his job because of the bureau’s investigation of alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

“Something about the way I was conducting it, that the president felt created pressure on him, that he wanted relieved,” Comey said. “I didn’t know that at the time, but I’ve watched his interview. I read the press accounts of his conversations. I take him at his word there.” The former bureau chief acknowledged that he could “be wrong,” because Trump may be “saying something that’s not true.”

The president suggested on several occasions that he sacked Comey to thwart the investigation. Trump admitted in an NBC News interview that the probe was a factor in his decision, and bragged about it during his controversial Oval Office meeting with Russian government officials. At first, White House officials claimed Comey’s dismissal was due to his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation last year.

Comey testified that during a private dinner shortly before the inauguration, the incoming president demanded his “loyalty.” The ex-director said he resisted the request, offering only “honest loyalty.” He recalled: “The relationship didn’t get off to a great start, given the conversation I had to have on Jan. 6. This didn’t improve the relationship because it was very, very awkward. He was asking for something and I was refusing to give it. But again, I don’t know him well enough to know how he reacted to that exactly.”

Comey continued: “First, I was alone with the president of the United States, the president-elect, soon to be president. The subject matter, I was talking about matters that touch on the FBI’s core responsibility and that relates to the president-elect personally. Then the nature of the person. I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document.” The former bureau chief explained that he wrote detailed memos immediately following his conversations with Trump, so he would be able to defend the FBI’s “integrity as an institution and the independent investigative function.”

Comey declared there is “no doubt” that Russian operatives tampered with the election, in an attempt to help Trump win. U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Russian leader Vladimir Putin of ordering cyber attacks on Democratic Party officials’ computers and spreading anti-Clinton “fake news” on social media. Investigators also believe Russian operatives may have hacked U.S. voter-registration systems.

Comey told the committee that in February, one day after national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign, Trump suggested that the FBI should end its investigation of the official. “Gen. Flynn at that point in time was in legal jeopardy,” Comey said. “There was an open criminal investigation in his connection with the Russian contacts and the contacts themselves. So that was my assessment at the time. I don’t think it’s for me to say whether the conversation I had with the president was an effort to obstruct. I took it as a very disturbing thing, very concerning, but that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work to find out the intention and whether that’s an offense.”

Source: Newsmax
Photo: YouTube

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