Trump mentioned Comey because of ‘hamstrung’ Russia relationship: US NSA

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NEW YORK, May 21 (APP): US President Donald Trump brought up the
dismissal of FBI Director James Comey during a meeting with Russian officials earlier this month because he was trying to explain that he felt “hamstrung” in working with them amid intense media coverage, White House National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster said.
In an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” broadcast on Sunday, McMaster said he didn’t know in advance that Trump was going to raise the issue. The New York Times reported Friday that Trump told Russian officials that Comey was “a real nutjob.”
“I don’t remember exactly what the president said, and the notes … I
do not think are a direct transcript,” McMaster said when asked about the comment.
“But the gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he
is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news. And that was the intention of that portion of that conversation.”
But when pressed on whether Trump called former FBI Director James Comey a “nut job” in an Oval office meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador o the US Sergey Kislyak, McMaster said he couldn’t remember.
“Well, I don’t remember exactly what the president said,” he told ABC
This Week.
In a separate interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson said he did not believe Trump was making the point that firing Comey would help remove a distraction.
“The president was simply saying to the Russians, these issues at home are not going to get in the way of my effort and the effort of my government to see if we can find a way to move this relationship forward,” he said.