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Acting FBI chief to appear at Senate hearing

5 months 1 week 20 hours ago Wednesday, May 10 2017 May 10, 2017 May 10, 2017 1:24 PM May 10, 2017 in News
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe will appear at a Senate intelligence committee hearing on Thursday in place of ex-FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate intelligence committee has confirmed that McCabe will be at the hearing instead of Comey, who was fired on Tuesday by President Donald Trump.

The hearing is about current and projected national security threats to the United States and U.S. interests both domestically and abroad.

Others scheduled to testify are National Intelligence Director Dan Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency. Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, who heads the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, also will be questioned by lawmakers on the committee.

The hearing will move into closed session following the open hearing.

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Three U.S. officials say fired FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers that he asked the Justice Department for more money for the bureau's investigation into Russia's election meddling.

President Donald Trump fired Comey Tuesday.

The officials say Comey told lawmakers he had made the request to Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.

The Justice Department is denying that Comey asked for more resources.

The White House has wielded a critical memo from Rosenstein to justify President Donald Trump's decision to fire Comey on Tuesday. Rosenstein's memo focused only on Comey's handling of last year's investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton's email practices. It does not mention the Russia investigation.

The officials were not authorized to disclose the meetings publicly and insisted on anonymity.

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President Donald Trump says ousted FBI Director James Comey "was not doing a good job." It was Trump's first public remarks about his firing Tuesday of the FBI chief.

Trump briefly spoke to reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday after a closed meeting with Russia's foreign minister. His remarks come as the White House is defending the decision to dismiss Comey. Administration officials have said the firing was not related to the investigation into possible contacts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

Trump was joined by Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and national security adviser under President Richard Nixon.

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Amid Democratic calls for a special prosecutor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a new investigation of Russia meddling could only serve to impede the current probes under way.

McConnell spoke on the Senate floor as Democratic senators gathered to try to pressure the GOP over President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

McConnell didn't give his own view on Trump's decision to fire Comey. But he noted that Democrats had repeatedly criticized Comey in the past, and had called for his removal.

Following McConnell on the floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for a special prosecutor.

But McConnell said: "Today we'll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation which could only serve to impede the current work being done."

The Senate and House intelligence committees are investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election and Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

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President Donald Trump's stunning firing of FBI Director James Comey throws into question the future of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign's possible connections to Russia. It also raises suspicions of an underhanded effort to stymie a probe that has shadowed the administration from the outset.

Democrats likened Tuesday's ouster to President Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" and renewed calls for appointment of a special prosecutor. Some Republicans also questioned the move.

In his letter to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the FBI. The administration paired the letter with a scathing review of Comey's work by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, including his decision to hold a news conference announcing the bureau's findings and releasing "derogatory information" about Clinton.

The president went to his Twitter account late Tuesday to chide Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a fellow New Yorker, for comments the Democrat made about the stunning dismissal.

Trump had telephoned Schumer earlier to inform him of the decision. Schumer said he told Trump that "you are making a big mistake." Schumer also questioned why the firing occurred on Tuesday and wondered whether investigations into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia were "getting too close for the president." He said unless a special prosecutor is named, Americans could rightfully wonder whether the move was "part of a cover-up."

Trump fired back with a tweet exclaiming: "Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, 'I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.' Then acts so indignant."

Trump says Comey "will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI."

Trump said that Democrats "have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!"

Trump says that Republicans and Democrats will soon "be thanking me" for firing Comey.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he doesn't believe a special prosecutor should be considered unless the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign's possible connections to Russia becomes a criminal matter.

It's now a counterintelligence investigation.

The South Carolina Republican says if it becomes "a criminal investigation where the Trump campaign may be exposed to criminal charges, then that's the time to have that conversation."

Graham says he's confident the FBI's investigation won't be hampered by President Donald Trump's firing of the bureau's director, James Comey.

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