No rush to Trump judgment, Ryan says; Dems demand deep probe
Pressing for answers to mushrooming questions, con-gressional Democrats demanded an immediate investigation into President Donald Trump's dealings with now-fired FBI Director James Comey and into broader questions of White House meddling yesterday. House Speaker Paul Ryan cautioned against "rushing to judgement".
Ryan said Congress needs to get the facts, but "it is obvious there are some people out there who want to harm the president". Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on a key House oversight panel, countered that Ryan and the Republicans had shown "zero, zero, zero appetite for any investigation of President Trump".
The White House has denied reports that Trump pressed Comey to drop an investigation into National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. In addition, Trump is facing pointed questions about his discussions with Russian diplomats during which Trump is reported to have disclosed classified information.
Turn over records
In the latest twist yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to turn over to Congress records of Trump's discussions with the diplomats.
The White House has played down the importance and secrecy of the information Trump gave to the Russians, which had been supplied by Israel under an intelligence-sharing agreement. Trump himself said he had "an absolute right" as president to share "facts pertaining to terrorism" and airline safety with Russia. Yet US allies and some members of Congress have expressed alarm.
Putin told a news conference that he would be willing to turn over notes of Trump's meeting with the Russian diplomats if the White House agreed. He dismissed outrage over Trump's disclosures as US politicians whipping up "anti-Russian sentiment".
Asked what he thinks of the Trump presidency, Putin said it is up to the American people to judge and his performance can be rated "only when he's allowed to work at full capacity", implying that someone is hampering Trump's efforts.
Trump left the White House yesterday to head to Connect-icut where he delivered the commencement address at the US Coast Guard Academy.