It's far from case closed on Trump, Russia


Less than a week after former F.B.I. director James Comey was unceremoniously axed, Donald Trump remains his own worst enemy, simultaneously declaring Comey's ouster an open-and-shut case even as he throws gasoline on the firestorm he created.

"Well, that I can't talk about", he told Pirro. "They've been vetted over their lifetime essentially, but very well-known, highly respected, really talented people".

If the president is pushing for a tidy transition, he faces substantial opposition from those unwilling to accept his typically undulating reasons for sacking Comey.

Of the people who have an opinion on President Donald Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey, a majority disapprove, with not quite half (46%) agreeing with the statement that Comey was sacked to slow the FBI investigation into the election.

The blowback against the firing of Comey angered the increasingly frustrated president, who made the decision after consulting only a small group of advisers, anxious the news would leak out.

Trump added another layer of intrigue to his dismissal of Comey with his posting on Twitter on Friday, suggesting that he may have recorded their conversation and that he should keep that in mind "before he starts leaking to the press!"

The White House continues to refuse to address questions raised by a tweet from President Trump last week implying he has a taping system in the Oval Office.

Trump's sacking of Comey has become a stomping ground for partisan conflict.

Republicans and Democrats agreed on one issue in Sunday interviews - the need to find out more about Trump's suggestion that he may have tapes of private conversations with Comey.

"Right now, it is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation".

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Graham said there may come a time when a special prosecutor is needed but not now.

The president's possible possession of tapes, however, has been met with sustained cross-party criticism, with senior lawmakers calling on the president to submit any recordings.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told NBC's "Meet The Press" on Sunday that "you can't be cute about tapes".

The ranking Democrat of the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Warner, made a similar pledge last week. "To destroy them would be a violation of law".

Schumer also said Senate Democrats are weighing whether to refuse to vote on a new Federal Bureau of Investigation director until a special prosecutor is named to investigate Trump's potential ties to Russian Federation.

Speaking on Fox News Saturday night, Trump was reticent amid the swelling political pressure. I won't talk about that.

At this point, it's far from a sure-thing strategy - while there is no shortage of Republicans who have expressed problems with how and when James Comey was sacked from the FBI's top spot, there has been no rush to embrace Democratic calls for a special counsel.

"I don't believe he should be a part of this review process if he's going to have a true recusal", said Sen. "I think in many ways our institutions are under assault", Clapper told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday.

When asked, "Internally, from the president?" But at this point, the aide says, that is not the path they are working on. "I see no need for a special commission yet", he said. Three percent said neither Congress nor a special prosecutor would serve best, while 4 percent said they were not sure.