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Here’s the Breitbart-inspired lie Trump just repeated at today’s crazy presser

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On Friday, President Donald Trump addressed reporters on the South lawn.

The president once again reiterated his claim that the Russia probe is a “rigged witch hunt.” He also levied a series of charges against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who he claimed was “conflicted.”

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“James Comey is like his best friend,” Trump said, citing Mueller’s alleged relationship with the former FBI director to undercut the validity of the Russia investigation.

The claim appears to have originated in a June 2017 article on Breitbart.com, citing James Kallstrom, a former FBI director who’s an outspoken Trump supporter and has called the Clinton foundation a “cesspool.” Kallstrom has also told Fox News that there’s a “cabal” to take down President Trump.

Breitbart also cited a 2013 story published in Politico, in which reporter Garrett Graff detailed the parallels between the two men and said both had been “mentored and guided by Eric Holder in the 1990s during Holder’s time in the Justice Department under the Clinton administration.”

But the fact-checking site Snopes dug into whether the two men are friends and if their relationship presents a conflict of interest. They found the claim to be mostly false.

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A lawyer for James Comey described their relationship to Snopes. “Jim and Bob are friends in the sense that co-workers are friends. They don’t really have a personal relationship. Jim has never been to Bob’s house and Bob has never been to Jim’s house. … ” he said.

“They’ve had lunch together once, dinner together twice, once with their spouses and once after Jim became FBI director so Bob could give him a run-down on what to look out for. [Bob] is not a mentor. He’s friendly, as colleagues are.”

They also spoke to Public Citizen, an ethics organization, which noted that even if the men shared a friendship there’d be no conflict of interest unless they were profiting from the relationship.

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“Conflict of interest means there’s some financial or pecuniary benefit that could come one’s way [as a result of an investigation],” they said.

“For example, If I had worked at a business and business has something at stake, that’s a conflict. But just people being friends and knowing each other, that’s not a conflict.”

 

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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Trump’s resolve on background checks ‘substantially softened’ after call from NRA’s Wayne LaPierre: NYT

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President Donald Trump has reversed his promises to fight for gun control, The New York Times reported Monday.

"Days after a pair of deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, President Trump said he was prepared to endorse what he described as 'very meaningful background checks' that would be possible because of his 'greater influence now over the Senate and over the House,'" the newspaper reported.

"But after discussions with gun rights advocates during his two-week working vacation in Bedminster, N.J. — including talks with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association — Mr. Trump’s resolve appears to have substantially softened, and he has reverted to reiterating the conservative positions on the gun issue he has espoused since the 2016 campaign," The Times reported.

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