Trump told Russians that firing ‘nut job’ Comey would ease pressure from investigation

The conversation reinforces the notion that the president dismissed Comey primarily because of the FBI’s inquiry into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the FBI director, James Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by a U.S. official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

Related developments

Military post: The Pentagon says President Donald Trump has nominated Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford to serve a second two-year term as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dunford, whose first term will be completed in September, was picked for the job by President Barack Obama. Most chairmen serve two, two-year terms.

Singapore pick: Trump nominated K.T. McFarland to be U.S. ambassador to Singapore, removing her as a deputy national-security adviser less than four months after she was brought on by Michael Flynn. Trump also announced he nominated Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, to be the ambassador to the Vatican.

Seattle Times news services

The conversation, during a May 10 meeting — the day after he fired Comey — reinforces the notion that Trump dismissed him primarily because of the bureau’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the administration has offered changing justifications for the firing.

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