Thursday Roundup: Trump, Comey, Russia Probe

Developments Thursday concerning President Donald Trump, the continuing controversy around the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and congressional probes into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. election:

Acting FBI Chief: Comey Firing Has No Impact on Russia Probe — The acting head of the FBI said President Donald Trump’s firing of former agency director James Comey has had no impact on an ongoing Russia investigation, but declined to comment on an eye-popping claim the president made in a letter notifying Comey of his dismissal.

Trump Says He Is Not Under Investigation — The president, in the television interview, repeated “I am not under investigation” when asked about Comey’s sworn testimony that there is an ongoing probe into his 2016 presidental campaign and possible collusion with the Russian government.

Controversy Over Trump’s FBI Firing Seen as Playing Into Russia’s Strategy — Political acrimony over President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to fire FBI Director James Comey is playing into the hands of a longtime U.S. adversary, several current and former U.S. intelligence officials say.

Trump Creating Commission on Voter Fraud, Suppression — Trump announced plans Thursday to create a commission on voter fraud and voter suppression, a move that follows his unsubstantiated claim that millions of people voted illegally last year, costing him a win in the popular vote.

US Afghan Policy Awaits a White House Decision — It has been three months since the top commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan said he needed a few thousand more troops to break a stalemate in the war-torn country, and the Trump administration has yet to announce its policy plans.

Farmers Convince Trump to Spare NAFTA — When President Donald Trump decided to pull out of NAFTA, Mexicans started a movement, “Just say ‘No’ to American corn.” That got the attention of U.S. farmers, U.S. agriculture experts, and Midwestern congressmen, who put pressure on Trump, says Edward Goldberg, professor at NYU’s School of Professional Studies, Center for Global Affairs, of the $2.6 billion worth of U.S. corn Mexico buys each year.

Q&A: What We Know About US Probes of Russian Meddling in 2016 Election — What is publicly known and not known about U.S. investigations into meddling by the Russians, and possible collusion between Russia and members of the Trump campaign.

Oval Office Meeting with Russian Officials Raises Eyebrows — The White House is facing criticism for a possible security breach after it allowed a Russian news service photographer into the Oval Office to snap photos of President Donald Trump and a pair of top Russian officials.

Comey’s Firing: Trump Frustration Finally Boiled into Action — For weeks, Trump had been seething. The swirling questions about possible contacts between his presidential campaign team and Russia just wouldn’t stop, and he felt it was overshadowing his early achievements. Who was to blame? In Trump’s view, FBI Director James Comey.

In Interview, Trump Calls Comey ‘Showboat,’ Denies Colluding With Russia — In a wide-ranging interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump slams Comey as a “showboat” attention-seeker and said there was “no collusion” between his winning campaign and the Russian government.

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