Trump asked James Comey to pledge his loyalty to him

Trump asked James Comey to pledge his loyalty to him

A new poll shows that party affiliation has a significant bearing on how voters view President Donald Trump's firing this week of James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

A Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted Tuesday to Thursday found that 62% of Republicans and 16% of Democrats thought Trump was right to remove the director of the nation's top law-enforcement agency.

Comey was investigating allegations of Trump's campaign aides being in contact with Russian Federation, which the United States intelligence concluded was meddling in the 2016 presidential election to damage Hillary Clinton's chances and tilt the scales in Trump's favour.

The May poll had more than 1,700 respondents, and the April survey polled nearly 2,000 voters.

Trump fired Comey Tuesday, prompting a storm of speculation over the timing of the dismissal.

In an exclusive interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt earlier Thursday, Trump said he believed Comey requested the dinner.

Trump invited Comey to have dinner with him at the White House, and in the course of their conversation, the president asked Comey if he would pledge his loyalty to him.

Sanders, the White House spokeswoman, said Trump had been considering letting Comey go since coming into office, while Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told a press briefing last week that the president "had confidence" in Comey.

"This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It hasn't recovered from that", Trump explained why he wanted to fire Comey.

Despite insisting that there was no wrongdoing by the Trump campaign in regard to Russia, Trump said that he wanted things to be "absolutely done properly".

Trump said he had asked Comey whether he was under investigation and Comey denied it. Because of that, "sometimes we don't get an opportunity to see him, to get his full thinking", Mr. Spicer said.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Wyden, who sits on the committee, said the American people were ill-served getting information about the circumstances of Mr. Comey's firing from anonymous news media leaks and Mr. Trump's "practically unhinged" Twitter feed.

"Did the president tell Comey he could keep his job if he ended the investigation?" "In fact", Mr. Trump said, "I want the investigation speeded up".

"I might even lengthen out the investigation", Trump said.

The New York Times reported Thursday evening that in January, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to pledge his loyalty to him, and Mr. Comey declined. And again, Comey responded that he would be honest, according to the source.

"Obviously it was a threat", Axelrod said of Trump's tweet earlier Friday about having "tapes" of his conversations with Comey.

-Byron Tau contributed to this article.

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