Mar 27, 2019

Comey calls Mueller's position on Trump obstruction charges "confusing"

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and former FBI Director James Comey. Photo via NBC Nightly News Twitter

Former FBI Director James Comey told NBC "Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt in an interview that aired on Wednesday that he thought President Trump may have obstructed justice after his abrupt dismissal in 2017.

Details: In his first television interview since Attorney General William Barr released a 4-page summary of Robert Mueller’s report, Comey told Holt that he believed his firing was partly because of the Russia investigation. Barr has concluded that he will not pursue obstruction charges against Trump, saying that Mueller cleared him of collusion with Russia but made no further statements about obstruction. Comey did say: "It'll be important to read the entire report."

At the time of his firing, Comey was leading the FBI's investigation of alleged links between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. Comey was fired 8 days after Mueller's appointment.

  • When Holt asked if he sees the Mueller report as a rebuke of his leadership at the FBI, Comey responded:
"No, I actually see it the other way. It establishes to all people, I hope no matter where they are on the spectrum, that the FBI is not corrupt, not a nest of vipers and spies, but an honest group of people trying to find out what is true. And that's what you see here."

On Tuesday, Comey pushed back against Barr's decision not to pursue obstruction charges, saying: "The notion that obstruction cases are somehow undermined by the absence of proof of an underlying crime, that is not my experience in 40 years of doing this nor is it the Department of Justice's tradition. Obstruction crimes matter without regard to what you prove about the underlying crime."

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

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Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

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