President Trump asked former FBI Director Jim Comey to lock up journalists for publishing classified information during a February Oval Office meeting, according to a memo written by Comey shortly after the meeting summarized Tuesday by The New York Times.
King, an independent from ME, spent several minutes speaking with CNN host Wolf Blitzer after The New York Times broke the story about a memo that people familiar with the matter say Comey wrote after a February meeting with Trump in the Oval Office. President Trump has said that he was informed three times by James Comey that he was not under investigation.
Comey wrote the memo after he met in the Oval Office with Trump, the day after the president fired Flynn on February 14 for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the extent of his conversations a year ago with Russia's ambassador, Sergei Kislyak. But Trump later told NBC News that he would have fired Comey "regardless" of the recommendation. The memos, later made public by Buzzfeed, included raw intelligence on possible contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents, and suggested that the Russian government had made compromising videos of Donald Trump during a visit the real estate tycoon made to Moscow in 2013.
In this May 8, 2017, file photo, then-FBI Director James Comey speaks to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in Washington.
Hours later, the White House would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the president's secret recordings.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, chairman of a judiciary subcommittee investigating Russian Federation, said that Comey should testify before his Senate panel about his discussions with Trump over Flynn, who resigned earlier this year.
In 2016, Comey - who was nominated for Federal Bureau of Investigation director by President Barack Obama in 2013 - held a news conference without notifying his superiors to announce that Hillary Clinton wouldn't face charges over her email server. "They need to acknowledge that what has happened is fucked up!" You need a really good prosecutor here, somebody who knows how to do it.More news: New S. Korean leader scraps plan for state history books
Another point of contention was whether the president received an assurance from Comey he was not being investigated.
Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, was investigating corrupt Russian businessmen and Trump associate Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price - fired by Trump.
The information had been supplied by a USA ally in the fight against the Islamic State militant group, the officials said. Just that it's not entirely clear what their best strategy might be, and one should assume that adoption of a strategy other than total obstruction means they are "spineless" (as some have accused them of being).
"This is a man who campaigned day after day after day on the argument that (former President) Bill Clinton met with the sitting Attorney General during the pendency of an investigation", Bharara said, referring to the controversial meeting in Phoenix between Clinton and Loretta Lynch. Comey's firing raised questions about the independence of the FBI investigation.
"I was doing the President a favour by not returning the call", Manhattan's former prosecutor said during a conversation last week with New York University's School of Law Dean Trevor Morrison here. The pressure began last week when Democrats from both chambers said any recordings - if they truly exist - should be preserved for investigators.
"I'm pleased that Majority Leader McConnell has agreed to our request to invite the Deputy Attorney General to brief the full Senate, and that Mr. Rosenstein has accepted".