Senate panel questions Lynch over ‘political interference’ in Clinton probe

The Senate Judiciary Committee has formally asked ex-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others to respond to allegations of “political interference” in the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email probe, according to a letter released Friday.

The inquiry was prompted, in part, by a series of media reports raising questions about whether Lynch tried to stifle the investigation into former Secretary of State Clinton’s use of a private email server. Fired FBI Director James Comey also suggested in recent Senate testimony that Lynch sought to downplay the investigation.

“The reports come amidst numerous allegations of political inference in controversial and high-profile investigations spanning the current and previous administrations,” Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s office said in a statement.

While Democrats have questioned whether President Trump tried to interfere in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, Republicans have countered by stepping up scrutiny of Lynch’s actions.

The letters released Friday, though, were bipartisan. Grassley, R-Iowa; ranking Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., penned letters to Lynch and others seeking documentation and other details.

Graham already had expressed interest in Lynch testifying before the committee in the wake of Comey’s testimony.

In the latest letters, the senators sought information that might determine the veracity of media reports suggesting Lynch may have offered assurances to the Clinton campaign about the probe.

Those articles are based on hacked documents whose authenticity has not been confirmed.

The letter cited an April New York Times article about a batch of hacked files obtained by the FBI, including one reportedly authored by a Democratic operative who voiced confidence Lynch would keep the Clinton probe from going too far.

Lynch and others who received the committee’s letters have until July 6 to comply with the request.

The senators also refer to concerns stemming from Comey’s testimony about being uncomfortable with Lynch’s tarmac meeting last summer with Bill Clinton.

Comey also told Congress “the attorney general directed me not to call it an investigation and call it a matter — which confused me.”

Qatar says list of demands by Arab states not realistic

An aerial view of high-rise buildings emerging through fog covering the skyline of Doha, as the sun rises over the city, in Doha, Qatar, 15 February 2014Image copyrightEPA
Image captionQatar, which is rich in natural gas, is home to 2.7 million people

Qatar’s foreign minister has rejected a list of 13 conditions set by four Arab states for lifting sanctions, saying it is neither reasonable nor actionable.

Qatar is under strict sanctions from Saudi Arabia and its allies, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain. They accuse Qatar of backing terrorism.

Among other things, they have demanded the closure of Al Jazeera TV, which is funded by the Qatari government.

The UAE’s foreign minister has suggested they may cut ties completely.

But Anwar Gargash added that the countries were not seeking to overthrow the Qatari leadership, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Qatar has been under unprecedented diplomatic and economic sanctions for more than two weeks, with Iran and Turkey increasingly supplying it with food and other goods.

It denies accusations that it is funding terrorism and fostering regional instability.

The four countries also want Qatar to reduce its ties with Iran and close a Turkish military base, setting a deadline on Friday of 10 days.

What has Qatar’s government said?

The government is reviewing the demands, a spokesman has said.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, quoted by Al-Jazeera, said: “The US secretary of state recently called upon the blockading nations to produce a list of grievances that was ‘reasonable and actionable’.

“The British foreign secretary asked that the demands be ‘measured and realistic.’ This list does not satisfy that [sic] criteria.”

Media captionGiles Trendle of Al Jazeera: “We’re not partisan to any particular group or ideology or government”

He said the demands were proof that the sanctions had “nothing to do with combating terrorism… [but] limiting Qatar’s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy”.

Al Jazeera accused them of trying to silence freedom of expression, adding: “We assert our right to practise our journalism professionally without bowing to pressure from any government or authority.”

What effect are sanctions having?

Qatar’s main import routes – by land from Saudi Arabia and by sea from container ships docked in the UAE – have been disrupted, and much of the surrounding airspace has been closed to its air traffic.

Map showing Qatar and other Gulf states

However, the small but wealthy country has so far avoided economic collapse by finding alternative routes.

Qatari citizens living in neighbouring countries or with family living there have been hit harder, Reuters news agency notes, because of ultimatums issued for them to leave.

What happens if the demands are not met?

The UAE’s foreign minister said there would be a “parting of ways” with Qatar if it failed to meet them.

“The alternative is not escalation,” he said. “The alternative is parting of ways. It’s very difficult for us to maintain a collective grouping with one of the partners… actively promoting what is an extremist and terrorist agenda.”

He described Qatar as a “Trojan horse” within the group of Arab monarchies.

Where is the US in this?

Correspondents say there has been frustration in Washington over the time taken by the Saudis and others to formalise their demands.

Media captionThe disruption could have an impact on Qatar if the dispute drags on

US President Donald Trump has taken a hard line towards Qatar, accusing it of being a “high-level” sponsor of terrorism.

However, the Arab states involved in the crisis are all close allies of the US, while the largest US base in the Middle East is in Qatar.

US seeks to ‘milk’ terrorism sponsor Saudi Arabia – Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to RT

As the US influence in the Middle East wanes, it increasingly associates itself with dictatorships like Saudi Arabia, whose “dark face” and “role in supporting terrorism is known to everyone in the region,” a high ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guard official told RT.

The United States and President Trump in particular consider only one “dimension” of convergence with Saudi Arabia, ignoring the “ideological and intellectual” challenges and costs such ties entail, media adviser to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Commander-in-Chief Hamid Reza Moghadam Far told RT in an exclusive interview.

“That was one of Trump’s senseless moves. He was just seeking to milk this cow and thinking about only business,” Moghadam Far said.

“The first challenge is that Trump goes to such a country as his first trip after being elected… That is the behavior shown towards a dictatorial regime in which democracy is meaningless and no elections take place and the people have no presence on the scene. The next challenge is that they claim that they are combatting terrorism. It is no secret that Saudi Arabia has provided the most support for terrorism.”

The recent naming of Mohammed bin Salman as Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince might be another “outcome of Trump’s visit” amidst internal disputes among Saudi princes and with other Arab countries.

“This replacement is one of the internal political impacts of the [Trump’s] visit on Saudi Arabia. I mean the replacement of the crown prince. But Saudi Arabia is facing certain conditions today that I think the development would create further problems for the country,” Moghadam Far said, pointing out that this decision would hardly be beneficial for the Saudi people.

While the appointment might push Saudi Arabia into further radicalization, it would unlikely lead to an armed conflict with Iran, Moghadam Far believes, as the Saudi army is “not fit for military action.”

“There is no possibly of conflict. Today many Arab countries are complaining about Saudi Arabia’s inexperienced and radical moves. They consider Saudi Arabia as callow,” Moghadam Far told RT.

“A number of inexperienced people who are ruling Saudi Arabia lack the resolve and determination to initiate a war on Iran. They lack the courage and power. I do not think they will come up with such conclusion, even if all global powers support them.”

Saudi Arabia’s policies in the Middle East only bring instability to the region and its alliance with the US only diminishes the already dwindling American power and influence, Moghadam Far believes.

“[The US policies] definitely have a negative effect. What matters more, however, is that the US is not as influential a player as it used to be and it can no longer manipulate regional equations. Today, it does not enjoy such a sway at all and its influence in the region has waned,” Moghadam Far said.

READ MORE: US stirring up ‘Iranophobia’ to boost arms sales to Arab nations – Tehran

“It now has to associate with countries like Saudi Arabia whose negative role in supporting terrorism, whose dictatorship, and whose dark face is known to everyone in the region.”

Tehran’s recent Iranian missile attack on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists in Syria should have weakened the resolve of the Saudis and other powers to go to war with Iran. A key “message” of the attack was to clearly demonstrate Iranian military capabilities to those who doubted them, Moghadam Far said.

“In the past, when these missiles were test-fired in Iran, the US and certain western countries used to usually announce that Iran was lying that its launches had been successful and tried to create this impression that Iranians do not have such a capability and their missiles cannot strike their targets with precision,” he said.

The strike also demonstrated Iran’s resolve to fight terrorism, rubbishing usual US accusations that Tehran supports terrorist elements.

“As in the past, whenever Americans want to mount pressure on Iran, impose new sanctions and proceed with an issue in the region and beyond, [the US] accuse Iran of backing terrorism,” Moghadam Far said.

“But I think that today’s conditions are such that the world’s public opinion does not accept this. The world has come to realize that the US, despite leading a coalition against [IS] and terrorism in Syria and Iraq, Syria in particular, does not fight terrorism in practice and is in fact is supporting it… They cannot both take an opposite stance against terrorism and accuse Iran.”

Feinstein: Trump ‘in for a rude awakening’ if he tries to shut down Russia probe

Gabby Kaufman 20 hours ago

Trump Acknowledges He Is Under Investigation in Russia Inquiry

Photo

President Trump at the White House on Wednesday. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump acknowledged publicly for the first time on Friday that he was under investigation in the expanding inquiry into Russian influence in the election, and he appeared to attack the integrity of the Justice Department official in charge of leading it.

In an early-morning tweet, the president declared that he was “being investigated” for his decision to fire James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director. And he seemed to accuse Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading a “witch hunt.”

The tweet was the first explicit concession by the president that Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel for the Russia inquiry, had begun examining whether Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey last month was an attempt to obstruct the investigation.

And Mr. Trump’s apparent reference to Mr. Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from it, came just hours after an oddly worded statement from Mr. Rosenstein complaining about leaks in the case.

Continue reading the main story

In the statement, Mr. Rosenstein wrote that “Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated.”

He added: “Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”

Mr. Rosenstein’s statement followed two articles by The Washington Post that cited unnamed officials, one saying that Mr. Mueller’s investigation had widened to include whether Mr. Trump committed obstruction of justice, the other that it was looking at financial transactions involving Jared Kushner, the president’s adviser and son-in-law. After the statement, The Post updated the Kushner article so that its first sourcing reference was to “U.S. officials.”

The highly unusual statement by the deputy attorney general raised the question of whether Mr. Trump or some other White House official had asked him to publicly discredit the reports. Part of the revelations surrounding the Russia investigation and the firing of Mr. Comey has been that Mr. Trump repeatedly pushed top intelligence officials to say in public that Mr. Trump was not personally under investigation and that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia in its interference in the 2016 election.

But there was some evidence that Mr. Rosenstein’s motivation may instead have been his own mounting frustration at seeing details of the law enforcement investigation appear nearly daily in the news media.

A Justice Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters, said that no one had asked Mr. Rosenstein to make the statement and that he acted on his own.

Still, the statement, followed by Mr. Trump’s tweet, demonstrated the pressure on the deputy attorney general.

This week, a friend of Mr. Trump’s said the president was considering firing Mr. Mueller — a task that would be complicated by Justice Department regulations, which say that only the attorney general may fire a special counsel and only if there is good cause. Mr. Rosenstein is acting as the attorney general in the inquiry because Mr. Sessions recused himself from investigations that touch on the 2016 presidential campaigns.

According to people briefed on his thinking, while Mr. Trump has left open the possibility of dismissing Mr. Mueller, his anger has been mostly trained on Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein. The president blames Mr. Rosenstein for appointing Mr. Mueller in the first place, and he faults Mr. Sessions for his earlier recusal from Russia-related issues.

But the people briefed on the president’s thinking said Mr. Trump also knows that firing Mr. Rosenstein would be politically dangerous.

Responding to Mr. Trump’s statement on Twitter, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said she was “growing increasingly concerned” that Mr. Trump might attempt to fire both Mr. Mueller and Mr. Rosenstein.

“If the president thinks he can fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and replace him with someone who will shut down the investigation, he’s in for a rude awakening,” she said in a statement. “Even his staunchest supporters will balk at such a blatant effort to subvert the law.”

Separately, the apparent expansion of Mr. Mueller’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice, including by firing Mr. Comey, has raised the question of whether Mr. Rosenstein, as a witness to and participant in the events in 2017 that culminated in that ouster, may have to also recuse himself.

If Mr. Rosenstein recuses himself from overseeing the special counsel investigation or were to resign or be fired by Mr. Trump — acting attorney general duties for the inquiry would fall to the department’s No. 3 official, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.

Ms. Brand has never served as a prosecutor. She advised the Bush Justice Department on selecting judicial nominees, and she served as a Republican appointee on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Photo

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, appearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

“As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a point when he needs to recuse, he will,” said Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman. “However, nothing has changed.”

On Friday morning, Mr. Rosenstein made a public appearance at the Justice Department, presenting awards to dozens of department employees. He did not take questions from reporters.

In testimony on Tuesday, Mr. Rosenstein said that he had seen no reason to remove Mr. Mueller, whom he appointed last month, and vowed to “defend the integrity” of the special counsel investigation.

Mr. Trump’s tweet appeared to be inaccurate or oversimplified in two respects. The presient has said he had already made his decision to fire Mr. Comey before Mr. Rosenstein wrote a memo recommending Mr. Comey’s dismissal. He then wrote a memo laying out that line of criticism, not explicitly recommend removing Mr. Comey.

The president’s latest tweet came after a series of others in which Mr. Trump continued to complain about the Russia investigations swirling around him, and just hours after members of Congress from both parties gathered at a baseball field to call for unity after the shooting at a Republican baseball practice this week.

In two other early-morning tweets, the president insisted that no one had found any “proof” that he colluded with Russians to meddle with the 2016 presidential elections, and he once again assailed the news media.

Mr. Trump’s claim to have 100 million social media followers is an exaggeration based on adding his followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — many of whom are most likely the same people.

But however many people actually follow him on social media, the president clearly views them as a refuge from the barrage of newspaper headlines and cable news stories about the Russia investigations.

611COMMENTS

Faced with a Russia investigation that appears to be broadening, Mr. Trump appears eager to use Twitter to undermine the credibility of the inquiry and to convince his supporters that they do not need to worry.

In a third tweet Friday morning, Mr. Trump repeated his assertion that the investigations were a “phony Witch Hunt” and bragged that the nation’s economy was improving quickly.

Continue reading the main story

Gunman who critically injured GOP rep at Alexandria baseball practice has died – Trump

Five people were injured when a gunman opened fire on US congressmen at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise is among the injured. The shooter later died in the hospital.

READ MORE: Moment gunman opened fire on GOP congressmen caught on camera (VIDEO)

Scalise was airlifted to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, which issued the following statement Wednesday evening: “Steve Scalise sustained a single rifle shot to the left hip. The bullet travelled across his pelvis, fracturing bones, injuring internal organs, and causing severe bleeding. He was transported in shock to MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a Level I Trauma Center. He underwent immediate surgery, and an additional procedure to stop bleeding. He has received multiple units of blood transfusion. His condition is critical, and he will require additional operations.”

Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!

After visiting the Louisiana congressman, President Donald Trump tweeted that he was in “very tough shape” but that he was “a real fighter.”

Earlier Wednesday, as details of the shooting were still breaking, Trump confirmed that Hodgkinson had died after a gun battle with police. Earlier, police had said that the suspect was in custody and “not a threat.”

Trump called Scalise a “patriot and a fighter,” and thanked the Capitol Police for their heroic actions in stopping the shooter. He also addressed the possibility that the attack may have been politically motivated.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, a true friend and patriot, was badly injured but will fully recover. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.

“We may have our differences, but we’d do well in times like these to remember that everyone that serves in our nation’s capital is here because above all they love our country,” Trump said.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) called for unity on the House floor.

“We are united in our shock, we are united in our anguish. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us!” he said, adding, “We do not shed our humanity when we enter this chamber. For all the noise and all the fury, we are one family.”

Ryan identified the two Capitol Police agents injured in the shooting as Krystal Griner and David Bailey.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) called the shooting an “injury in the family,” urged the members of Congress to come together, and sent wishes for a speedy recovery to Rep. Scalise.

All votes scheduled for Wednesday in the House of Representatives have been canceled. Trump also canceled a speech this afternoon at the Department of Labor.

A 911 call about an active shooter came in around 7:09 am local time, Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown told reporters, adding that his units responded within three minutes.

The FBI is taking the lead on the investigation, but will work with state and local authorities, Special Agent Tim Slater said. It is “too early to say” if this was an act of  political terrorism, he added.

“It’s not an assassination attempt,” Slater said at first, but walked that comment back when asked for clarification, saying, “we are not sure at this moment.”

Injured officers were in “good condition,” said Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa, adding that they “acted heroically.”

Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-Virginia) commended the heroic actions of Capitol Police and Alexandria officers, adding, “There are too many guns on the streets.”

Rep. Steve Scalise in surgery now, his office said he was in “good spirits” beforehand. He was shot in this morning

Scalise was in stable condition and undergoing surgery, his office said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

“Prior to entering surgery, the Whip was in good spirits and spoke to his wife by phone. He is grateful for the brave actions of U.S. Capitol Police, first responders, and colleagues,”

Shortly after 11am, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters Scalise was out of surgery and “doing well.”

MedStar Washington Hospital Center later tweeted that Scalise is in critical condition after surgery. The other patient at that hospital is in good condition.

One congressional aide, a lobbyist, and two police officers were also among the injured, according to reports. Officials declined to confirm or deny that information.

Zachary Barth, a staffer for GOP Rep. Roger Williams of TX, posted on FB that he was shot but is “okay.” Gave permission to post thru friend

While none of the officials at the press conference would give details on the injured or the shooter, the Washington Post cited law enforcement sources to identify the attacker as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Illinois.

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram says a gunman armed with a rifle attacked the group near a YMCA, firing dozens of shots. Alexandria is just south of Washington, DC.

Chief Brown said five people were taken to hospital following the incident, but declined to identify the victims or the suspect.

UPDATE: Suspect is in custody and not a threat. PIO will be onscene shortly to share updates.

WATCH: Video shows House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise taken away on stretcher and into helicopter following shooting at Virginia park.

Scalise is currently the Majority Whip in the US House of Representatives and represents Louisiana’s 1st congressional district.

Speaking on CNN, Representative Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) said Scalise was shot with a semi-automatic weapon. Brooks said he saw a man with a gun “blasting away.” Scalise’s Capitol Police security detail returned fire.

Brooks reportedly used his belt as a tourniquet to stop Scalise’s bleeding.

This is the first time a member of Congress has been shot since 2011, when Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Arizona) survived an assassination attempt at a town hall in Tucson.

My heart is with my former colleagues, their families & staff, and the US Capitol Police- public servants and heroes today and every day.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Twitter that both President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are aware of the “developing situation”.

Both @POTUS & @VP are aware of the developing situation in Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected.

There are also reports that two police officers who were hospitalized after the shooting are also stable.

Scalise and other members of Congress were practicing for a charity baseball game scheduled for Thursday. Reuters is reporting that 15-25 lawmakers were at the baseball field when the attack occurred, along with a dozen staff members and security personnel.

The annual congressional baseball game, which sees senators and congressmen from each party face off against one another, has been a tradition since 1909. It will not be canceled or postponed, CNN reported citing congressional sources.

Our hearts are heavy. Please pray for @SteveScalise and the others involved in this morning’s shooting.

Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), who left the scene moments before the shooting, told Fox News that a man walked up to him as he was walking to his car and asked if it was “Republicans or Democrats out there.”

Congressman Mark Walker (R-North Carolina), told NBC News it seemed the “gunman was there to kill as many Republican members as possible.”

Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Michigan) told WWJ radio that he witnessed Scalise being shot: “He was a sitting duck.”

A witness told journalist Will Drabold that he heard a “wave of gunfire” and saw 10-15 people flee the field. He said he also saw men returning fire from behind what looked to him like a federal vehicle.

“The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely,” President Trump said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”

APD PIO heading to scene, updates will be posted when available. Victims being transported to hospitals.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) was also at the baseball field. Speaking to MSNBC, he said “it would have been a massacre” if the Capitol Police security had not been at the scene.

Scalise, 51, has been a congressman since 2008. His leadership position among congressional Republicans means that he is entitled to a security detail.

US Capitol Police released a statement to congressional offices saying that they have deployed a “robust” police presence throughout the Capitol complex. However, they said that all buildings within the area are open in accordance with routine operations.

Trump calls Comey memo leaks ‘cowardly!’

Dylan Stableford

Senior Editor

,

Yahoo NewsJune 11, 2017
Trump says he’s willing to testify under oath ‘100 percent’ to refute Comey

President Trump suggested Sunday that former FBI Director James Comey’s leak of memos detailing their conversations may be illegal — and are far more damning than what was in them.

“I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible,” Trump tweeted. “Totally illegal? Very ‘cowardly!’”

I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very ‘cowardly!’

In calling Comey’s leak “cowardly,” the president appears to be echoing Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, who said the same on Fox News Friday.

“I thought it shows a lot of cowardice,” Dershowitz said. “He should have had the courage to get on television and release the memos and talk about it or not talk about it. But to have some friend become his surrogate was absurd.”

On Thursday, Comey told the Senate intelligence committee that as FBI director he drafted — and shared with his senior staff — memos about his interactions with Trump that left him uneasy. According to Comey, Trump asked him to “go easy” in his investigation of ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, an unprecedented request from a president to the head of the FBI. After he was fired, Comey said a threatening Trump tweet that hinted there were secret tapes of their conversations prompted him to ask a friend, Daniel Richman, to share the content of the memos with the New York Times.

Related: Trump on existence of Comey tapes: ‘You’re going to be very disappointed’

During his testimony, Comey also used the word cowardly to describe his own approach to not telling Trump he wouldn’t drop the Flynn probe.

“Well, it was kind of a slightly cowardly way of trying to avoid telling him, we’re not going to do that — that I would see what we could do,” Comey told the committee. “It was a way of kind of getting off the phone [with Trump], frankly.”

Trump took to Twitter early Friday to declare victory, denouncing the FBI director he fired as a liar and a “leaker” based on Comey’s damaging testimony about their interactions. But he also claimed “vindication” on the basis of the same testimony.

“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication … and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” Trump tweeted.

Comey friend Benjamin Wittes’ reaction to Trump complaint against Comey: ‘Laughter’

Yahoo News Deputy Editor Daniel Klaidman spoke to Benjamin Wittes, a friend of James Comey and editor in chief of Lawfare, to get his reaction to Comey’s bombshell testimony. His reaction to the threat of a complaint against Comey by Trump: “Laughter.”

Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and friend and confidant of Comey, told Yahoo News on Friday afternoon that the proper response to any suggestion the former FBI director broke the law by leaking a personal memo to the press was “laughter.”

“First of all, Comey was very clear that the memo that he wrote was intentionally written in unclassified form so that it would not be bound up in classification rules,” Wittes said. “So if the claim is that he’s admitted to leaking classified information, that’s simply factually false.”

Sunday’s attack on Comey was the third in a series of tweets criticizing the media for focusing on the various scandals of his young presidency — and not on the “great economic news since Election Day.”

The MSM doesn’t report the great economic news since Election Day. up 16%. up 19.5%. Drilling & energy sector…

…way up. Regulations way down. 600,000+ new jobs added. Unemployment down to 4.3%. Business and economic enthusiasm way up- record levels!

Trump also criticized Democrats for being “obstructionists.”

The Democrats have no message, not on economics, not on taxes, not on jobs, not on failing . They are only OBSTRUCTIONISTS!

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