Clapper: US govt 'under assault' by Trump after Comey firing

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says fired FBI Director James Comey was uneasy about being invited to dinner with President Donald Trump Jan. 27.

James Comey, left, and Donald Trump.

The White House denied the account.

Later Sunday, in an ABC interview, Clapper said Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey could, at the Kremlin, be celebrated as another win, the Guardian reported. Trump told The Associated Press by telephone after the meeting that he "learned a lot" but declined to say whether he accepted their conclusion about Russian Federation.

In the event of a tie vote, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote."The key is getting some of our Republican colleagues to join us", Schumer said.Republican leaders in the Senate have rebuffed calls for a special prosecutor, saying it would interfere with ongoing congressional probes.Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC said on Sunday there may come a time when a special prosecutor is needed but not now."Right now, it is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation".

"It's now time to pick somebody who comes from within the ranks, or has such a reputation that has no political background at all that can go into the job on Day 1", said Graham, R-S.C. "If there are any tapes of this conversation, they need to be turned over", he said. But Trump later told NBC News that he would have fired Comey "regardless" of the recommendation and mentioned the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Russian Federation.

Democrats have accused Mr Trump of attempting to thwart the FBI's probe and have called for some type of independent inquiry into the matter.

American democracy is separately "under assault" from President Donald Trump and Russian Federation, the former USA intelligence chief warned Sunday, expressing dismay over the abrupt firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey amid a probe into Moscow's meddling in US elections and possible ties with the Trump campaign.

"If, in fact, there are such recordings, I think those recordings will be subpoenaed and they will probably have to turn them over", said Lee. Lee said he was "absolutely serious about it".

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So it's possible Spicer just plain doesn't know whether Trump is taping conversations - and has no interest in finding out.

"First of all", he added, "we [have] got to make sure that these tapes, if they exist, don't mysteriously disappear".

Almost two thirds of Republicans said they believed the Trump administration's (first) stated rationale for firing Comey that it was in response to the way the FBI director had mishandled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. But he told senators: "I can't consider for a second whose political futures will be affected and in what way".

Sources close to the president told Axios over the weekend that Trump is watching his top strategist, Steve Bannon, and chief of staff, Reince Priebus, closely.

Some people under consideration include acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, New York Appeals Court Judge Michael Garcia and former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, according to a White House official.

Lee made a counterintuitive suggestion meant to draw bipartisan support: Merrick Garland, the judge nominated past year by former president Barack Obama to the Supreme Court but never given a hearing by the Republican-controlled Senate.

"The key is getting some of our Republican colleagues to join us", Mr Schumer said.

Republican leaders in the Senate have rebuffed calls for a special prosecutor, saying it would interfere with ongoing congressional probes.

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