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White House moves to limit damage of latest Trump controversy

18 May 2017

The Senate Judiciary Committee, a group of lawmakers which, unlike the Intelligence Committee, does not suffer the disadvantage of being led by Republican Richard Burr, is now asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to turn over ex-director James Comey's memos on his meetings with Donald Trump.

Commenting on the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Trump reportedly told Comey that Flynn was a "good guy" who did nothing wrong.

"While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr Comey or anyone else to end any investigation", a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

Trump on May 9 fired Comey, who led the FBI investigation into the ties between Russian officials and Trump's presidential campaign, an issue that Congress also addresses.

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers keynote address during the commencement at Liberty University May 13, 2017 in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Ignorance, bad judgment, naiveté and gross inexperience likely prompted President Trump to reveal highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week in a White House meeting.

The New York Times has reported that James Comey made notes on the conversation with the president as part of a paper trail aimed to document perceived pressure from Trump.

"If the US administration finds it possible, we are ready to provide a recording of the conversation between Lavrov and Trump to the US Congress and Senate", Putin said during a press conference.

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On Wednesday, the Department of Justice appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel in charge of the Russian Federation investigation. "And in fact when I chose to just do it, I said to myself, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won".

Responding to news reports about the request, Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he wants James Comey to testify about his conversations with the president before a Senate panel.

As to whether the committee has the right to make such demand, Chafettz added a footnote which said it was the "principle oversight committee of the House of Representatives, and may at "any time" investigate "any matter" as set forth in House Rule X".

Comey was abruptly fired May 9 and learned of the dismissal as he was giving a talk in Los Angeles.

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