Politics

Report: FBI Investigation Includes White House Official

| by Michael Allen

The FBI's investigation of possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign reportedly now includes a current White House official.

Unidentified sources told the Washington Post on May 19 that the person of interest is a senior adviser, but would not identify him or her.

The sources emphasized that Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn are also being investigated.

According to the newspaper, current Trump administration officials who have admitted to communications with Russian officials include Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is a White House adviser.

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Yashar Ali, a contributor to New York magazine, tweeted on May 19: "It's [J]ared Kushner have confirmed this with four people. I'm not speculating."

The New York Times reports that Trump told Russian officials during a White House meeting on May 10 how he glad he was to have fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9.

According to a White House document that summarized the meeting, Trump said: "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job … I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off."

Trump also said: "I’m not under investigation."

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The heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee said on May 19 that Comey has agreed to publicly testify to the committee about the Russia investigation, notes CNBC.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who chairs the committee, said that he hopes Comey's testimony "will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media."

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, vice chairman of the committee, said in a statement: "Director Comey served his country with honor for many years, and he deserves an opportunity to tell his story. Moreover, the American people deserve an opportunity to hear it."

There has been intense speculation over whether Trump fired Comey to stop the FBI's Russian investigation. If he did, it would qualify as obstruction of justice, which could lead to impeachment proceedings.

An unidentified source told CNN that White House lawyers have recently consulted experts in impeachment and have been researching impeachment protocol.

The White House originally refused to comment, but after CNN broke the story, a White House official said: "It's not true."

The Washington Post reported on May 17 that the stress and uncertainty of working in the Trump White House has led some mid-level staff members to begin looking for new jobs, with at least one senior staffer also speaking to friends about getting a new gig.

Sources: Washington Post (2), Yashar Ali/Twitter, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN / Photo credit: The White House Facebook Page/Wikimedia Commons

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