Trump fires the FBI director who was investigating him … White House delays Paris climate accord decision


CNN Politics:  Nightcap
May 9, 2017   |   by Eric Bradner and Daniella Diaz

Trump fires the FBI director who was investigating him

President Donald Trump this evening fired FBI Director James Comey, sweeping away the man who is responsible for an investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign team colluded with Russia in its interference in last year’s election. CNN’s Stephen Collinson, Jeff Zeleny, Jeremy Diamond and Eli Watkins have all the details.

How it happened: Longtime Trump aide Keith Schiller hand-delivered a letter to the FBI — but it’s not clear who he delivered it to. In the letter, Trump told Comey that he “greatly appreciate(s) you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” The White House said Attorney General Jeff Sessions (who has recused himself from the Russia investigation) and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended Comey’s firing, with Rosenstein releasing a letter that blasted Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

What now for the Russia investigation? Remember, Trump tweeted yesterday: “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”

Warning siren for the White House: Here’s what Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said: “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee.”

For Democrats and Clinton allies, this is a weird feeling. On one hand, they absolutely detest Comey. On the other hand, the President just fired the man leading an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign allegedly on Trump’s behalf. Here’s Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook:

The prevailing Democratic line was that this underscores the need for a special prosecutor — and/or a special congressional panel with subpoena power. Here’s DNC Chair Tom Perez:

STRAIGHT UP

“This is Nixonian.”

 

— Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, on President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.

BUZZING

President Donald Trump‘s history of praising James Comey is getting a lot of attention this evening. There were these comments on the campaign trail — and on January 22 in the Blue Room at the White House, Trump patted Comey on the back and declared that “he’s become more famous than me.” 

BAR TALK

Administration delays Paris climate accord decision

From CNN’s Kevin Liptak: President Donald Trump delayed a decision on withdrawing from the landmark Paris climate accord amid disagreements about the nature of the pact, the White House said.

Trump had originally aimed to announce his intentions before traveling to the summit, held in Sicily at the end of this month. Instead, he will wait until after the G-7 to make a decision, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “I think it’s simply a sign that the President wants to continue to meet with his team,” Spicer told reporters at the White House.

Trump vowed during his presidential campaign to “cancel” US participation in the accord, which obliges countries to slash their greenhouse gas emissions to keep global temperatures from rising to catastrophic levels. Spicer said Trump has been meeting with his team “extensively” to discuss the issue, which has divided his top advisers as they weigh the ramifications of withdrawing from the carbon reduction agreement.

LAST CALL

3 things you might have missed today

US-Mexico border apprehensions hit 17-year lows: In April, there were 11,129 total apprehensions at the Southwest border. That is the lowest in 17 years of available US Customs and Border Protection data — the third straight month that apprehensions hit historic lows. More from CNN’s Tal Kopan.

Senate wants Trump team financials: Senate Russia investigators have sent a request to the Treasury Department’s criminal investigation division for any information related to President Donald Trump, his top officials and his campaign aides, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Warner, told CNN. More from CNN’s Tom LoBianco.

Chelsea Manning set for release next week: A former Army intelligence analyst and transgender woman, Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted in 2013 of stealing 750,000 pages of documents and videos before leaking them to WikiLeaks. But then-President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in January, thereby providing her with an early release date. More from CNN’s Laura Jarrett. 

CLOSING TIME

Here’s how easy it is to get President Donald Trump‘s officials to click on a fake link in an email. … Former President Barack Obama defends the Paris climate accord as Trump mulls ditching it. … Mexico was the second deadliest country in 2016.
Thanks for reading the CNN Politics Nightcap. Your bartenders are Eric Bradner and Daniella Diaz. The tip jar: nightcap@cnn.com.
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Your bartenders for CNN Politics’ Nightcap are Eric Bradner (@ericbradner) and Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela)— Tips, thoughts and beer recommendations are always welcome at nightcap@cnn.com.
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