All of the times Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions praised James Comey for Clinton investigation

President Trump and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions supposedly fired FBI Director James Comey for actions they publicly praised. After Trump unexpectedly ousted Comey Tuesday night, his White House team said the FBI leader’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was the biggest cause. Trump was indeed upset last July when Comey did not recommend charges against Clinton for using a private email server as secretary of state. But when Comey reopened the probe less than two weeks before the election, Trump and his would-be A.G. suddenly had nothing but nice words to say about him. “I have to tell you, I respect the fact that Director Comey was able to come back after what he did,” Trump told a Phoenix campaign crowd Oct. 29. “I respect that very much.” Two days later, Trump said Comey had won back his respect. “It took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had,” he said at a Grand Rapids, Mich., rally. “I was not his fan, but I’ll tell you what: What he did, he brought back his reputation. He brought it back.” At the same time, Sessions — then an Alabama senator — also commended Comey. “He had an absolute duty, in my opinion, 11 days (before the election) or not to come forward with the new information that he has and let the American people know that too,” Sessions said Oct. 30 on Fox Business. Six days later, he said on Fox News that Comey “did the right thing.” Comey closed the second probe before the election with no charges and no new findings. Still, Clinton and many Democrats would blame Comey’s last-minute actions as a major factor in Trump’s unexpected victory. After winning the presidency, Trump seemed unsure as to how he felt about the FBI leadership. Speaking to “60 Minutes” in Continue Reading

FBI chief James Comey’s revived Clinton probe goes against Justice Department policy on election meddling, source says

Hillary Clinton ripped FBI Director James Comey for his lack of political propriety Saturday as her resuscitated email mess breathed new life into the Trump campaign. Comey reportedly ignored the directions of his Department of Justice superiors when he announced the Clinton email investigation was back on — with sources blaming lecherous Anthony Weiner for the second look — without having reviewed the purported emails. As of Saturday night, the FBI has not obtained a search warrant to probe the new email stash, according to Yahoo News.  Clinton, during a Florida campaign stop, called Comey’s behavior “deeply troubling” and called for the FBI to provide the “full and complete facts” about the scrutiny of her emails. Clinton campaign manager John Podesta earlier dismissed the director’s letter to Congress about the continuing federal probe as “long on innuendo and short on facts.” Donald Trump invoked Watergate in blasting Clinton, her close friend and associate Huma Abedin — and the latter’s estranged husband, Weiner. “Major, major, major sleaze,” Trump said of the ex-politician whose cybersex antics were behind the Clinton campaign crisis just 10 days before Election Day. Weiner’s computer was seized as investigators probed his alleged inappropriate internet relationship with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl. Clinton-related emails were then recovered. “This is the biggest political scandal since Watergate, and it’s everybody’s deepest hope that justice, at last, can be properly delivered,” Trump said to cheers at a Saturday rally in Colorado. Podesta cited several media reports that Comey’s public commentary about the case came over the direct objections of his DOJ bosses. Standard policy is withholding such information until after election day rather Continue Reading

Trump-loving former congressman Joe Walsh calls James Comey’s new Clinton probe unfair

Even Joe Walsh — the Trump-loving, musket-grabbing, race war-baiting former congressman — thinks FBI Director James Comey is being unfair to Hillary Clinton. Walsh, a rampant critic of the left, came to Clinton’s defense in a series of tweets Sunday night — less than a week after threatening to take arms if she wins the White House. “Politics aside, James Comey has screwed this thing up from the get go,” Walsh wrote. “He wrongly let her off in July & he wrongly stuck it to her Friday," he added, referring to the FBI's latest Clinton investigation. Walsh, a former GOP representative from Illinois, previously called for Comey to prosecute Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state — but that probe ended in July with no charges. Even Walsh, though, won’t get behind Comey’s latest act — his abrupt announcement last week that the FBI is looking into Anthony Weiner-related emails that may or may not have anything to do with Clinton. “Look, I think Comey should have said prosecute her back in July,” Walsh wrote. “But what he just did 11 days b4 the election is wrong & unfair to Hillary...U may hate me, but I'll always say what I believe. I want Trump to win, but what Comey just did to Hillary Is wrong & really unfair to her.” He kept going Monday morning, adding, “If the FBI Dir is going to open his mouth 11 days b4 an election, he better have a damn good reason & he better tell us what it is. Waiting” Comey has faced fierce criticism for his cryptic announcement of the new probe, with reports that he willfully ignored advice to keep the news contained until after Election Day. Walsh’s surprise support for Clinton clashes with his other infamous tweets this year. The one-term congressman, who was voted out of office in 2012, made headlines over the Continue Reading

Tim Kaine says Hillary Clinton admitted wrongdoing in email server scandal

Hillary Clinton admitted to running mate Tim Kaine that using a private email server for official state department business was a mistake, the Democratic VP hopeful said. “She said, ‘Look, it was a mistake and I’ve learned from it and I’d do something different,’” the Virginia senator said in a teaser for a CBS interview set to air Friday morning. “That’s been the way she’s pitched it to me.” Last month, FBI Director James Comey called Clinton’s server use “careless” — a comment CBS host Norah O’Donnell brought up when talking to Kaine. “Yeah, he said that and I think she would acknowledge that,” Kaine said. Kaine added that the situation was a learning moment for Clinton and other government officials. “I think this probably taught a lot of people, because others have done similar things or been careless in similar ways,” he said. The FBI began investigating the Democratic presidential candidate and her email servers last year. Critics claimed that by using a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton broke protocol and potentially posed a security risk to the county. Clinton’s critics and rivals have frequently brought up the scandal in attacks against her. In a television interview Sunday on the private server and the FBI investigation, Clinton said Comey had called her statements “truthful” — a mischaracterization. On Friday, in her first formal news conference in more than 200 days, Clinton said she “may have short-circuited” in addressing the matter. “I was pointing out in both of those instances that Director Comey had said that my answers in my FBI interview were truthful,” she said. “That’s really the bottom line here.” During the wide-ranging CBS interview, Kaine also took on GOP presidential Continue Reading

Analysis: ‘You’re fired’ may backfire. Untethered James Comey now Trump’s greatest threat

WASHINGTON — In business and now in politics, Donald Trump has proved himself time and again extraordinarily adept at vanquishing all comers.His unlikely path to the White House is littered with would-be political challengers, whom he tattooed with disparaging monikers such as “Lyin' Ted Cruz’’ or “Crooked Hillary.’’ And of course, the real estate mogul is virtually synonymous with the catchphrase, "You're fired!"But by firing the FBI director — who was running an ongoing investigation into possible collusion between his campaign associates and Russia — Trump has unleashed a formidable rival who may finally outdo him.An untethered James Comey is now the single greatest threat to his young administration.Explosive revelations that Comey maintained secret files of his encounters with Trump, including a February meeting in which the president pressed Comey to shut down the FBI investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, gives Comey even more power than he had as FBI director."I think the president wildly underestimated Comey and the organization of the FBI," said Ron Hosko, a former FBI assistant director who worked with Comey. "Jim Comey represents a huge challenge to the viability of this president."The bureau’s wide-ranging inquiry into Russia’s intervention is not close to completion, but less than 24 hours after the existence of the former director’s personal files was made public, the news sent a shiver through Congress unlike any of the recent crises that have engulfed the White House.Lawmakers are now clamoring for Comey's notes or any recordings of the private conversations. At least four congressional committees — Senate Judiciary, Senate Intellingence, House Intelligence and House Oversight — have either requested documents, threatened subpoenas, or signaled that they will. Read more:As Continue Reading

Did Donald Trump Jr. break any laws by seeking damaging information from Russia on Hillary Clinton?

WASHINGTON – Emails released by Donald Trump Jr. Tuesday show he was excited about the possibility of the Russian government providing him with damaging information about Hillary Clinton during last year's presidential campaign."If it's what you say I love it,” the president’s eldest son wrote to an intermediary eager to set up a meeting where Trump Jr. was promised information that would "incriminate" Clinton.  Related: But is that evidence of any crime?Here’s a look at some of the legal issues that could be in play, based on what we know now. Maybe.There’s a lot more to learn from the ongoing investigations by a special counsel and congressional committees, which are whether Trump associates colluded with Russia. The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a campaign of cyberattacks and fake news to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.“I don’t think we’re at the end. We’re at the beginning,” said Ron Hosko, a former chief of the FBI's criminal division, of the latest bombshell revelation. “It gives Bob Mueller, who has fairly wide latitude, plenty of potential questions to ask and to probe.” Mueller, a former FBI director, is the special counsel overseeing the Justice Department's Russia investigation. However, while collusion has been the hot topic in Washington for the last several months of investigations, that's not the only thing that can could potentially get Trump Jr. in hot water, experts sayLegal analysts said Trump Jr. may have breached campaign finance laws that forbid foreign contributions — even in-kind contributions. "A meeting with a foreign national known to have ties to a sensitive foreign regime raises a host of legal issues, including under campaign finance law because what is being offered is potentially an illegal foreign in-kind Continue Reading

Hillary Clinton’s unplugged book tour: Where was this person in 2016?

With approval numbers lower than Donald Trump, the most unpopular president in history at this point in a presidency, Hillary Rodham Clinton has nowhere to go but up. Her new book, What Happened, seems to support precisely that. The book, the fact of it and the timing are interesting, but Clinton’s book tour and conversation with America are infinitely more so. A more apt title of the memoir and accompanying tour would be Hillary Clinton,Unplugged. Nothing left to lose.Direct, unvarnished, gossipy, honest, in your face, tell it like it is — she’s the Hillary Clinton the Democrats needed in their primary and the country needed when Trump became the GOP presidential nominee, courtesy of the ratings-hungry media. Where was this person in 2016, the one who on Wednesday on NBC's Today called out Donald Trump Jr. for the "absurd lie" that he met with Russians last year to learn about her "fitness" for office?It’s as if Clinton's photo was on a milk carton and someone just found her and brought her home. More: Trump shows GOP how it's done: Scrap absolutism, deal with reality More: Trump's Charlottesville disgrace: White supremacists aren't just another 'side' For years and years — decades, even — we’ve been told by close friends and associates of Hillary Clinton that if we knew her as they did, we would all love her to the moon and back. So where was she hiding?While it’s true the establishment Democrats would like her to shut up and exit stage left, this woman who won the popular vote and received more votes than any white man in our nation’s long history of electing white men, with one notable exception, has every right to step up and tell her story. And she should.  Wincing Democrats can take some small comfort in that she is appropriating a bit of their limelight early, well in advance of the 2018 midterms. As well, she’s Continue Reading

Benson: Hillary Clinton’s pre-existing conditions

Hillary Clinton made her first big speech, post-election.In talking with the media during the Women for Women International event, she blamed herself and FBI Director James Comey and those darn Russian hackers for her loss to Donald Trump."I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey's letter on Oct. 28 and Russian Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off," she said. "And the evidence for that intervening event is compelling, persuasive."What do you think? Continue Reading

Trump voter but not a fan, license trailers and why Hillary Clinton lost | Letters

I voted for Trump, but, I am no fan of his administration. Finally, it appears that President Donald Trump is learning something, like his leadership actions comforting the victims of these recent horrific storms. The installation of General John Kelly as his chief of staff; the firing of his top aides (known white supremacists and anti-Semites) Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, though coming seven months late; his recent actions of him reaching out to Democrats in a bipartisan effort to move critical legislation forward for the benefit of all.Hopefully, this do-nothing Republican Congress will stop with their political games and actually do something. Now we have Trump's Treasury Secretary asking taxpayers to pay for his honeymoon to France, Italy and Scotland. More: Guide to submitting Letters to the Editor Is there no end to this corruption? We can only pray he learns to govern in an equitable manner and hope that any past criminal actions found by the FBI do not interfere with his abilities. Dan Barrett Jasper, Indiana 47546Listing to a local news segment yesterday at noon regarding the theft of a trailer that belonged to a group of Boy Scouts has ignited my drive once again that Kentucky requires every trailer be licensed.  Why this state does not require licensing of trailers is absurd.The reason is twofold: First, it would be an additional source of revenue for the state and a small price to pay for owners of trailers that have experienced such theft, and secondly, owners of trailers may be less likely to have their trailers stolen off their property, knowing that proof of ownership (title) would be required to obtain an annual registration like a vehicle. Ralph Morgan Crestwood, 40014A recent proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services could jeopardize seniors' access to quality home health. Known as the Home Health Groupings Model, the proposal would dramatically change the way Medicare pays for home Continue Reading

Trump’s contacts with FBI Director James Comey break longstanding precedent

WASHINGTON — When President Obama chose James Comey as the new director of the FBI four years ago, he made it clear that their final interview together would likely be their last personal, one-on-one meeting.The exchange, according to a person familiar with the encounter, reflected Obama's understanding of the necessary distance that has traditionally shaped the relationship between the White House and an independent FBI – before Donald Trump.Comey was settling in for what was supposed to be a 10-year term – a lengthy term designed to guard FBI directors' political independence – and Obama did not want to give even the appearance of influencing the nonpolitical law enforcement agency's investigations.The account of Obama's meeting with Comey now stands in stark contrast to Trump’s unusual interactions with the FBI director he abruptly fired last week.While Trump claims that Comey sought a dinner at the White House to appeal to keep his job as the FBI chief, it was the president who surprised Comey with the Jan. 27 invitation and expected him to show up the same day, said the person who is familiar with Comey’s version of the events but is not authorized to speak publicly. Comey, while uncomfortable with the arrangement, nonetheless accepted the president’s invitation as a courtesy, the person said.However, the person said that under no circumstances did Comey assure the president that he was not a target of the ongoing FBI investigation into possible collusion between the campaign and Russian government officials. That would have amounted to a serious break in precedent guiding communications between the White House and FBI, especially involving a president whose campaign was at the center of an active investigation.Trump's actions call into question his regard for an independent FBI – and may be a sign of how he intends to select a new leader of the federal Continue Reading