Memo: Trump Discussed Imprisoning Reporters With Comey

Pauline Gross
May 20, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan tried to tamp down the furor on Wednesday over reports that President Donald Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to quash part of his Russian Federation investigation, saying "we need the facts" and adding he has confidence in the president.

Before speaking with reporters, Ryan told rank-and-file Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he supported the ongoing House and Senate Intelligence panels' investigations into Russian Federation hacking, as well as a third being carried out by the FBI.

While the Times report triggered a firestorm among the media and on Capitol Hill, some Republicans have expressed skepticism over the claims made, with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) questioning the memo's existence.

"Give me a break", the president's son wrote.

Trump has often condemned press leaks, and the issue has returned to the forefront after news broke that he reportedly shared classified information with Russian officials.

"I look forward to this matter concluding quickly".

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According to sources cited in the report, that intelligence came from a U.S. ally who had not authorised Washington to pass it on to Moscow. "So somebody's going to have to do more than have anonymous sources on this one for me to believe that there's something there". Do you think they need to tone it down? The Republican billionaire's administration, now just barely four months old, was left reeling by the one-two punch, which sparked instant outrage from Democrats demanding a full explanation.

"I hope you can let this go, " Trump said, according to the Comey notes, which were described by the associates. "He is a good guy".

Comey wrote a memo about Trump's request following the February 14 Oval Office meeting.

First, on its face, the idea that everyone should overlook what a sitting president says to the director of the FBI about an ongoing counter-espionage investigation is a very tough sell.

As overwhelmed White House staff struggled to explain Trump's decision to tell Lavrov about a specific Islamic State bomb threat gleaned by Israeli intelligence, the New York Times dropped another bombshell.

That raised questions about whether the president improperly attempted to interfere with a federal investigation.

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