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Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Clapper said that the "very disturbing" dismissal last week highlighted clashes between the intelligence community and the Republican president, who has been accused of getting help from Russian Federation to win the race for the White House.

President Donald Trump's shock dismissal of Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey this week not only unleashed a political firestorm in Washington - it also revealed the discordant sounds emanating from his communications team.

US intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign of interference in the election aimed at tilting the vote in Trump's favor.

Michael Garcia, the Manhattan U.S. attorney whose investigation brought down Gov. Eliot Spitzer in a 2008 prostitution scandal, was among the potential nominees expected to meet with Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Saturday afternoon.

Comey appears to want to stay out of the spotlight, for now.

One of those being interviewed is Republican Senator John Cornyn, the second highest-ranking member of the Senate and a former Texas Attorney General.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer also reiterated during a news briefing that night that the decision to fire Comey was driven entirely by the Department of Justice and Rosenstein. He had nominated only 73 people for Senate-confirmed position by May 3 compared to 193 President Barack Obama had nominated over the same period, according to the Partnership for Public Service. As for the tweet to Comey, Spicer said: "That's not a threat".

Chief strategist Steve Bannon learned on television, according to three White House officials, though a person close to Bannon disputed that characterisation. "That was a DOJ decision".

If anyone attempts to interfere with or block the investigation, Schumer said, "you need somebody who is going to stand up".

He said in an interview with NBC News he had already chose to sack Mr Comey by the time Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's memo came to him.

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Former director James Comey was abruptly fired on Tuesday.

During the legal proceedings, Pratt's then-president, William Weidner, at one point referred to a conversation he had had with Mr. Trump, Mr. Weidner told the Journal in a phone interview.

"The President, over the last several months, lost confidence in Director Comey". The president himself in a November interview implicitly criticized Comey's actions in the Clinton email case by asserting that when it comes to investigations, "we don't operate on innuendo" and "incomplete information".

On Monday [May 8, 2017], the President met with the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General and they discussed reasons for removing the Director.

Vice President Mike Pence, left, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, centre.

Trump told Fox News he did not ask Comey to pledge loyalty and only wants him to be honest.

Fearful that his own team would leak the decision, Trump kept key staff in the dark as he pondered the dramatic move.

"As long as they're having fun, they're getting exercise, they're enjoying themselves, and you know, that's what this is all about".

Trump, however, said it "wouldn't be a bad question to ask". "I hope he'll do that", he said.

Fox News quoted a government source as saying they were moving "quickly and expeditiously" to find a replacement, adding: "We're doing our due diligence - we are not going to cut any corners".


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