President Donald Trump intends to keep FBI Director James Comey in his post, a person familiar with the decision said on Tuesday, amid reports that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are scrutinizing Trump associates over their ties to Russia.
Comey, a Republican, drew furious criticism from Democrats for announcing just 11 days before the Nov. 8 election that the FBI was looking at additional emails related to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server.
Four days after the election, Clinton privately blamed Comey for her election loss to Trump, telling donors Trump was able to use the FBI chief’s comments about the emails to attack her in the waning days of the campaign.
On Sunday, Comey got a warm handshake and pat on the back from Trump during a reception at the White House. On Tuesday, Trump would not confirm that Comey was staying on when asked about it during an Oval Office appearance with top U.S. auto industry executives.
The news about Comey keeping his job was first reported by the New York Times, which said he told his top agents Trump had asked him to remain in the post he has held since 2013.
An FBI director is appointed to serve a 10-year term, but may be fired by the president at any time. For example, former President Bill Clinton in 1993 dismissed William Sessions after a Justice Department internal watchdog report that revealed unethical conduct such as taking FBI aircraft on personal trips.
Trump had sharply criticized the Justice Department during the campaign for not bringing criminal charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server to conduct government business during her 2009-13 tenure as secretary of state.
Comey sent a letter to the U.S. Congress on Oct. 28 announcing that the FBI was investigating more emails as part of its investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information when she used the private email server.
The FBI director then announced two days before the election that a review of the new emails did not change the bureau’s previous finding that no criminal charges were warranted against Clinton, but the political damage had already been done.
The Times reported last week that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are looking into intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a wider investigation into potential ties between Russian officials and Trump associates including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
(Reporting by Julia Edwards Ainsley and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Will Dunham)
Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas
Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.
Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.
When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.
Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean
Japan's top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was "no other option" but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.
"It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada's comments earlier in the day.
The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.
Here’s one big reason why Trump is having a white-hot meltdown over the Fed not dropping interest rates
President Donald Trump has a personal conflict-of-interest that may be impacting his decisions in his public feud with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
"President Trump stands to save millions of dollars annually in interest on outstanding loans on his hotels and resorts if the Federal Reserve lowers rates as he has been demanding, according to public filings and financial experts," The Washington Post reported Saturday.