Comey infuriated Trump with refusal to preview Senate testimony: aides

Comey confirmed in testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the FBI was investigating Trump's campaign.

The minority party also began to slow Senate proceedings to a crawl in protest of the president's actions. The FBI had also recently issued subpoenas to force associates of Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn to testify before a grand jury.

Other factors in this decision, apart their obvious personality clash, include the FBI investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election, as well as Comey's refusal to furnish Trump's team with a copy of his planned testimony to a Senate panel last week.

Trump, never inclined to de-escalate, instead turned the temperature up even more via his Twitter account.

He attacked one Democratic critic, Sen. Senators want WH answers on cyber policy Dem senator responds to Trump tweets: "Your bullying won't silence" me MORE (Conn.), for his past misstatements about his service during the Vietnam War.

Trump shrugged off the political firestorm he created with Comey's dismissal as he met with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office on Wednesday.

When asked if the Comey matter had affected his meeting earlier on Wednesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the President said, "No".

Meanwhile, CBS News secured a brief interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was dressed in a full hockey uniform at a Sochi ice rink.

Senate Republican John McCain said he has long backed a "special congressional committee", while moderate Republicans Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski said they were studying the option.

At a more substantive level, confusion clouds some central elements of the story that the Trump administration is trying to tell.

After weeks of fuming, how Trump fired Comey
That has led to speculation that Trump is considering replacing him. "We had a very nice dinner at the White House very early on". In this image provided by NBC News, President Donald Trump is interviewed by NBC's Lester Holt, Thursday, May 11, 2017.

He found the testimony last week infuriating and griped about it extensively for at least two days, several associates and advisers said.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had pondered dumping Comey as soon as he took office on January 20, but made a decision to stick with him.

In his dismissal letter to Comey, Trump wrote: "I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation".

She said Trump asked them to put in writing what they told him about Comey and that, as far as she knew, neither Sessions nor Rosenstein had previously spoken to Trump about possibly removing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

At one point, committee Chair Richard Burr and Vice-chair Mark Warner abruptly left the hearing abruptly in order to meet with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, whose letter critical of Comey was cited as justification for his firing by the White House. I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard.

But at times, the administration seemed itself to be caught up in the chaos.

But it's the White House that's to blame for the upset, he said.

"To a president obsessed with loyalty, Mr. Comey was a rogue operator who could not be trusted as the FBI investigated Russian ties to Mr. Trump's campaign", The Times reported.

Sanders told reporters that DOJ officials including Rosenstein and Sessions were at the White House Monday on "other business" when the topic of Comey came up.

Trump allies dispute those charges, as well as the broader argument that the president may be seeking to frustrate an investigation. "James Comey did this to James Comey", Nunberg said. But the FBI's refusal to hand over the documents implies that it believes Trump's call on Russian Federation to hack Hillary Clinton's emails was at least relevant to their ongoing inquiries.

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