President’s decision to terminate Comey was driven by the recommendations the President received from Rosenstein and Sessions.467 In the morning on May 10, 2017, President Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Ofﬁce.468 The media subsequently reported that during the May 10 meeting the President brought up his decision the prior day to terminate Comey, telling Lavrov and Kislyak: “I just ﬁred the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nutjob. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off. . . . I’m not under investigation.”469 The President never denied making those statements, and the White House did not dispute the account, instead issuing a statement that said: “By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia. The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classiﬁed information.”470 Hicks said that when she told the President about the reports on his meeting with Lavrov, he did not look concerned and said of Comey, “he is crazy.”47‘ When McGahn asked the President about his comments to Lavrov, the President said it was good that Comey was ﬁred because that took the pressure off by making it clear that he was not under investigation so he could get, more work done.472 That same morning, on May 10, 2017, the President called McCabe.473 According to a memorandum McCabe wrote following the call, the President asked McCabe to come over to the White House to discuss whether the President should visit FBI headquarters and make a speech to 467 See, ag, Sarah Sanders, White House Daily Brieﬁng, C-SPAN (May 10, 2017); SCR013_0010~88 (5/10/17 Email, Hemming to Cheung et a1.) (internal White House email describing comments on the Comey termination by Vice President Pence). 468 SCR08_000353 (5/9/17 White House Document, “Working Visit with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia”); SCR08_001274 (5/10/17 Email, Ciaramella to Kelly et 31.). The meeting had been planned on May 2, 2017, during a telephone call between the President and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the meeting date was conﬁrmed on May 5, 2017, the same day the President dictated ideas for the Comey termination letter to Stephen Miller. SCR08_001274 (5/10/17 Email, Ciaramella to Kelly et al.). 469 Matt Apuzzo et al., Trump Told Russians That Firing "Nut Job " Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation, New York Times (May 19, 2017). 47° SCR08_002117 (5/19/17 Email, Walters to Farhi (CBS News»; see Spicer 10/16/17 302, at 13 (noting he would have been told to “clean it up” if the reporting on the meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister was inaccurate, but he was never told to correct the reporting); Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 19 (recalling that the President never denied making the statements attributed to him in the Lavrov meeting and that the President had said similar things about Comey in an off—the-record meeting with reporters on May 18, 2017, calling Comey a “nut job” and “crazy”). “1 Hicks 12/8/17 302, at 19. “2 McGahn 12/12/17 302, at 18. “73 SCR025#000046 (President’s Daily Diary, 5/10/17); McCabe 5/ 10/17 Memorandum, at 1.
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