Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee hours after it was revealed that President Donald Trump called him a “nut job.” The meeting will be scheduled sometime after Memorial Day.
“The committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former director on his role in the development of the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who chairs the panel, said in a statement.
The news of Comey agreeing to testify came after the New York Times reported that the president called him “crazy” and a “nut job” when he met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on May 10, the day after the FBI director was fired.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” the president said, according to a transcript that was read to the Times by an anonymous American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
“I’m not under investigation,” he said.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the account of the meeting in a statement, but highlighted that the only crime, again, is the leaking of sensitive information.
“By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” he said. “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it.
Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”
The news broke as President Trump was starting his first overseas trip which began Friday in Saudi Arabia.
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