Controversy aside, GOP sticking with Trump


US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have spoken by phone, an Israeli spokesman said Wednesday, as controversy brewed over the US president's sharing of intelligence with Russian Federation that came from Israel. The White House initially dismissed the reports, before Trump tweeted he had every "right" to share information with the Russian delegation. His offer added a weird twist to the furor over Trump's intelligence disclosures.

Leaving their meeting Wednesday, a number of conservative House Republicans said they and their constituents remained firmly supportive of the president, and they questioned why there are so many leaks coming out that are hurtful to Trump. "Nearly all of them are very well-known", Trump said aboard the plane that took him to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he gave the commencement address at Liberty University.

A US official who confirmed the disclosure to The Associated Press said the revelation potentially put the source at risk. Three officials told the AP that Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been shut out of major decisions following conflicts with Kushner and didn't even know Comey had been fired until he saw it on television.

Cornyn is the second-ranking Senate Republican and a strong defender of Trump, a president who often places a premium on loyalty.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the search for a new FBI director is moving "very rapidly" following his decision last week to fire James Comey, who was leading the investigation into Russia's meddling in last year's presidential election and links between Trump campaign aides and Moscow interests.

The panel's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings of Maryland, a constant Trump critic, called the allegation of Trump pressure on Comey "explosive" and said "it appears like a textbook case of criminal obstruction of justice".

CIA Director Mike Pompeo was to brief members of the House intelligence committee late Tuesday. Republicans hold a 52-seat majority in the Senate. "Why do you think Comey wrote a memo to the file about it?"

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More than a lack of momentum on major policy goals, Trump is said to be seething over the flood of leaks pouring out of the White House and into news reports.

"We have the White House saying that the conversation didn't occur". Investigations into contacts between Russians and people with the Trump campaign are still going on, so there's no exoneration to be found.

Trump was scheduled to leave Friday for his first overseas trip as president.

If this is indeed what motivated him, and the conversation was spontaneous bragging, then serious consideration needs to be given to whether Trump's incapacity to understand the implications of such behaviour render him unfit to be president. But the White House has provided differing accounts of the firing. While the Judiciary Committee has been conducting its own investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, it hasn't been as high-profile as the Senate Intelligence Committee's inquiry.

The main reason for firing James Comey was the Federal Bureau of Investigation being "in turmoil", Trump said, branding the former intelligence chief a "showboat". "Memos, transcripts, tapes - the list keeps getting longer", he said.

Comey wrote that Trump asked him to end an investigation into Flynn during a February meeting in the Oval Office. "I hope you can let this go", Trump is reported to have said.

The official said the information was provided to the Israel.