'More Crazy Than Nixon': Critics Shocked by Trump Admission on Comey
While it's hard to keep up with the shifting reports of how the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey came about, President Donald Trump on Thursday admitted to directly asking the former head of law enforcement if he was under investigation—a move many said presented a shocking conflict of interest.
"A dinner was arranged, I think he asked for the dinner," Trump told NBC's Lester Holt in an interview segment aired Thursday afternoon. The president said that Comey "wanted to stay on," and Trump said he'd "consider it and see what happens. We had a very nice dinner and at that time he told me you are not under investigation," he added.
Trump said Comey repeated that claim in two subsequent phone conversations. When Holt asked Trump if he "actually asked him," Trump replied: "Yes, I said, 'If it's possible, will you let me know if I am under investigation?' He said, 'You are not under investigation.'"
Though it did not immediately make headlines, the impropriety of that admission raised more than a few eyebrows.
Speaking to NBC's Andrea Mitchell later Thursday, "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough called the revelation "extraordinary" and compared it with the infamous and politically devastating tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
"What if Bill Clinton got on an airplane with Loretta Lynch and asked the status of an email investigation?" Scarborough asked, noting that "the president just admitted that he did this," which he added was "an admission against interest—as we'd say in the court."
"Now for Republicans and editorial boards who rightly condemned Loretta Lynch for meeting Bill Clinton on the tarmac this summer to talk about golf and kids and grandchildren," he continued, "I wonder if those Republicans are going to be just as critical of the President of the United States asking the FBI director if he was under investigation."
During Thursday's White House press briefing, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders brushed off any allegations of conflict of interest. When a reporter asked, "Isn't it inappropriate for a president to ask the FBI director directly if he is under investigation?" Huckabee Sanders responded: "No I don't believe it is." Read full story here