Trump on Friday defended the struggle by his administration to come up with a consistent timeline and rationale for the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey this week.
During his testimony, McCabe contradicted the White House's assertion that the President "and the rest of the FBI" had lost confidence in Comey. Details of the dinner were first reported by The New York Times.
All along, Trump's spokesmen insisted that his decision was not shaped in any way by his growing fury with the Russian Federation controversy, including the FBI investigation overseen by Comey into Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election and whether there had been any coordination with Trump associates.
Trump's bareknuckle comments immediately fueled fresh comparisons between his administration and that of disgraced president Richard Nixon, who famously recorded his conversations - a fact that sped his downfall during the Watergate scandal. For example, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has said the president fired Comey because he was advised to do so.
That startling admission fanned suggestions that Trump may be interfering with the investigation and promoted Comey allies to refute Trump's account of events.
Critics have assailed Trump for leaving the fate of the FBI's probe into alleged election meddling by Russian Federation highly uncertain and even accused him of intentionally seeking to jeopardize it. In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security says it believes that "based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities".
With journalists and authors, in particular, Trump's caution as a business tycoon prior to his life in politics was memorable, if also par for the course inside NY executive suites. "I think it's really important that the Congress, and more broadly the American people, hear Director Comey's side of the story".
Next stop for Trump is Israel, in pursuit of 'ultimate deal'
Trump's first official trip outside the USA included a visit to Saudi Arabia , where he signed $350-billion arms deal. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital, Jerusalem .
The face-to-face meeting between the president and the director raised other concerns.
A White House spokeswoman on Thursday disputed the description of the dinner by Comey's associates.
The president's advisers said Trump fired Comey in response to a recommendation by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, then said Trump had planned to fire Comey regardless.
Trump, heeding advice from Department of Justice, fires Comey, informing him that he is "not able to effectively lead the bureau".
"In fact, when I made a decision to just do it, I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story; it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won, '" Trump said.
Even before Trump's provocative tweets, the White House was scrambling to clarify why Comey was sacked.
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