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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 22, 2017

Grassley says briefing did not contradict Trump

By Ed Tibbetts, Quad City Times | May 12, 2017

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Thursday that in a briefing with FBI Director James Comey two months ago, he heard nothing to contradict President Donald Trump's claim this week that the ousted director told him he wasn't under investigation in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Grassley made the revelation at a Judiciary Committee meeting, and it comes a day after he explicitly said in a conference call with Iowa reporters that Trump was not under investigation.

Grassley said Thursday he would not reveal details of the briefing, which was private. But he added, "Senator Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the President’s statement."

The White House chalked up Comey's firing to Justice Department complaints of how he handled the email investigation into Hillary Clinton. But critics have called that a smokescreen and worried the president is meddling in the Russia investigation.

Trump, in his dismissal letter, didn't mention the email investigation but said he wanted to thank Comey for telling him three times he wasn't under investigation. Critics have been skeptical Comey would have done that. And The Wall Street Journal on Thursday quoted unidentified associates of the former director as saying that he had not done so.

 

Grassley, who has said he supports the firing, didn't explicitly say that Comey told him and Feinstein that Trump wasn't under investigation. But, as he did in March, Grassley said the agency should reveal whether the president is under investigation.

 

"Because it has failed to make this clear, speculation has run rampant," he said.

 

In her remarks at the committee meeting Thursday, Feinstein did not discuss the briefing, although she called Grassley's account "accurate."

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