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

16 May, 2017, 09:52 | Author: Abraham Jackson

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked last week by President Trump, is willing to testify before the Senate, but only in a public hearing, reports say.

In the Thursday interview, Trump said he supported an investigation into Russia's meddling of the election, saying, "If Russia or anyone else is trying to interfere with our elections, I think it's a terrible thing and I want to get to the bottom of it, and I want to make sure it will never, ever happen".

When he was asked, "Internally, from the president?"

"The founding fathers, in their genius, created a system of three co-equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances", Clapper said. "And, I think, as well our institutions are under assault internally", Clapper said.

When Tapper asked if Clapper was surprised at the lack of pushback from Republican lawmakers, Clapper said he couldn't call himself surprised and added, "I hope they'll speak up".

Some Republicans and Democrats alike raised alarm bells over Comey's firing, over its timing and the potential reasons behind it.

Calling Trump's remarks about possible taped conversations "outrageous", Sen.

But Trump later said in an exclusive interview with NBC News' on Thursday that he had planned to fire "showboat" Comey "regardless" of the Justice Department's recommendation.

"First of all, we have to make sure that these tapes, if they exist, don't mysteriously disappear", Warner said.

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Given the partisan uproar over Comey's firing, Democrats seem unlikely to support any Federal Bureau of Investigation candidate put forward by Trump. That being said, though 90 percent of respondents were aware of Trump's firing of Comey, a total of a third said they didn't know enough about the story to have an opinion, which seems like a lot of people either not paying much attention or still unwilling to form an opinion, despite the wall-to-wall media coverage of the White House crisis.

- Rogers. The FBI Agents Association says it believes his diverse background makes him the best choice.

White House spokespeople later refused to say whether the president's conversations were in fact being secretly taped. "Nearly all of them are very well-known", Trump said of the candidates before Air Force One took off for Lynchburg, Virginia, where he gave the commencement address at Liberty University.

Trump abruptly fired Comey last Tuesday and his replacement requires Senate confirmation. So far 14 people - lawmakers, attorneys and law enforcement officials among them - have emerged as candidates. The first candidate to arrive for interviews was Alice Fisher, a high-ranking Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration.

Among those interviewed was Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI's Richmond, Virginia, office.

One contender who could prove politically palatable is Michael Garcia, a former USA attorney in Manhattan with significant experience in terrorism and public corruption investigations.

Warner and other Democrats also questioned the involvement of Attorney General Jeff Sessions in interviewing candidates to replace Comey.

- US District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Bush appointee who struck down the centerpiece of the Obama administration's health care law in 2010. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the choice should be "certainly somebody not of a partisan background, certainly somebody of great experience and certainly somebody of courage".

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