U.S. government 'under assault' by Trump after Comey firing

Watergate scandal A look back

I think in many ways, our institutions are under assault both externally and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system.

President Donald Trump fired Comey on May 9, two days before Comey was to testify before Warner's committee, citing frustrations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's conduct. Clapper said America's founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now under assault and "eroding". "I think there are a lot of Democrats who feel that way", Schumer said on CNN's State of the Union. In his testimony he defended his former boss, contradicting assertions by administration officials and Trump that Comey had lost the confidence of the FBI's rank-and-file.

Trump has said a decision could come before he leaves Friday for the Mideast and Europe, his first overseas trip as president.

'It's a national treasure, ' he said of the agency. 'And it's very disturbing to me that the negative morale impact this event has had'. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said it was "remarkable" that Trump's press secretary would not confirm or deny if there are tapes.

Mr Schumer said last week that if the American people are to have faith in the impartiality of the Russian Federation probe, a special prosecutor must be appointed to get the investigation "out of the hands of the FBI and far away from the heavy hand of this administration". Trump, observing a backlash in the media and from Capitol Hill against the confusion, has reportedly been discussing replacing Spicer and the whole team with staff from his favorite news network.

But Clapper, who spoke before Congress on Monday, Trump tried using for validation.

Clapper didn't say that there was "no collusion", but rather that he had seen "no evidence" of collusion.

White House fails to deny Donald Trump leaked classified information to Russian Federation
He added that he wants the House intelligence committee fully briefed on what, if anything, was shared with the Russian officials. We can perhaps take McMaster at his word that Trump discussed no "sources or methods" in his meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak.

On Monday, the day Clapper and Yates testified, Trump made the same point.

The former USA intelligence chief is warning that President Donald Trump is eroding the nation's system of checks and balances. "I think the Senate majority leader thinks that's a fantastic idea", Holmes said. You know, I mean, it depends on how you define loyalty, number one.

The assessment was signed off on by the CIA, FBI and NSA and laid out what the intelligence community concluded about Russia's involvment in the 2016 presidential election.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that the Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, needs Comey to appear before it to "clear the air".

'I can only speculate why that's so.

When asked about the possibility of Trump obstructing justice, Schiff questioned whether someone can prove obstruction based on the president's own words, "when when we don't know whether we can believe this president".

"The attorney general was supposed to have recused himself from anything involving Russian Federation, and here he is, recommending the firing of the top cop doing the Russian Federation investigation, in clear violation of what he, the attorney general, had committed to doing".

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