During his meeting with Russian officials last week, President Donald Trump said recently fired FBI Director James Comey was a “nut job” whose ouster relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a report Friday in The New York Times.
The Times cited notes from a May 10 Oval Office meeting, the day after Trump fired Comey. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the paper’s reporting on the meeting with the Russians when asked by reporters, the Times story says.
The story is based off quotations from notes taken inside the Oval Office during the meeting and confirmed by a second source.
Separately, The Washington Post reported Friday that the FBI investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign was moving closer to the White House. Law enforcement officials now consider a senior Trump adviser a “person of interest” in the probe, the Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The report did not name the adviser.
The developments were a blow to White House efforts to tamp down interest in the Russia investigation as Trump and his staff boarded Air Force One for Saudi Arabia, first stop on his first foreign trip as president. The details of his comments to the Russians would seem to bolster theories that Trump fired Comey in an effort to choke off the Russia investigation.