on tuesday, sessions will testify to a senate subcommittee the senate intelligence committee

Political warfare in Washington intensifies
Barry Grey, WSWS, Jun 10 2017

At a White House press conference on Friday, Pres Trump accused Comey of lying under oath in his testimony the previous day before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which Comey charged that Trump had pressured him to drop the FBI probe into alleged collusion by his election team with Russian government interference in the election. Standing in the Rose Garden alongside visiting Romanian Puppet Pres K Iohannis, Trump declared that Thursday’s testimony by Comey had vindicated his own role. He flatly denied that he had demanded a pledge of personal loyalty from Comey or asked him to drop the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn’s alleged ties to Moscow. Trump said:

Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction. That was an excuse by the Democrats, who lost an election they shouldn’t have lost. But we were very very happy and frankly, James Comey confirmed a lot of what I said, and some of the things he said just weren’t true.

Asked if he had told Comey in a private White House meeting that he “hoped” the probe of Flynn could be dropped, Trump stated:

I didn’t say that, and there’d be nothing wrong if I did say it.

Trump said he would be prepared to repeat his denials of Comey’s claims under oath to Robert Mueller, who was appointed to head up the FBI investigation last month after Trump fired Comey and Comey responded by leaking to the NYT the fact that he had written contemporaneous memos after each of his nine private discussions with Trump. Trump denounced Comey as a leaker, alluding to his admission to the Senate committee that he had organized the leak of his memo on the Feb 14 White House meeting where Trump allegedly asked him to back off on the Flynn probe. Trump’s personal lawyer Mark Kasowitz suggested Thursday that the leak was illegal, and said he would refer the matter to the DoJ inspector general and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Comey’s nearly three-hour testimony, broadcast live by all of the major TV networks, and the responses of the so-called liberal media generally aligned with the Demagog Party, have underscored the reactionary content of the political campaign by sections of the intelligence establishment and the Demagogs to demonize Russia and brand Trump a stooge of Putin. Comey speaks for factions within the spy apparatus and the state more broadly that are determined to shift Trump’s more conciliatory line on Russia and reassert the Obama administration policy of escalating economic, diplomatic and military confrontation with Moscow, or if necessary to force Trump out of office. In his Senate testimony Thursday, Comey combined allegations of White House interference in the Russia probe with inflammatory accusations against Moscow. In a laudatory editorial on Friday, the NYT singled out for praise Comey’s declaration:

This is about Pindostan! [Them Rooskies] tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act! They’re coming after Pindostan! They will be back!

The entire edifice of charges of supposed Russian interference in the election in support of Trump promoted by the so-called 19 intelligence agencies and the Demagogs rests on bald assertions backed by no substantive evidence. The role of the media in promoting this hysterical campaign whose logical outcome is war was underscored at the press conference by ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, the only major media representative called on by Trump. After asking Trump to respond to Comey’s allegations, he invited the Romanian president to weigh in on Russian aggression, implying a lack of concern on the part of Trump. Karl responded:

Romania is no stranger to Russian aggression! How concerned are you, and how concerned should we be?

While remaining defiant on the Russia investigation, Trump did make a concession to his foreign-policy critics. In response to a question from a Romanian reporter, he explicitly affirmed his support for Article 5 of the NATO charter. He reiterated his attacks on the West Euro vassals such as Germany and France for failing to raise their defense spending to 2% of GDP and suggested that they be forced to pay for years of alleged underfunding of NATO. In response to a question about his earlier hint that the White House might have recordings of Oval Office discussions, he said he would make an announcement on the issue shortly and that the press would be “disappointed” when he does. All indications are that the political warfare in Washington will intensify. AG Jeff Sessions, one of those accused of holding secret and undisclosed meetings with Russian officials while serving on Trump’s election campaign team, is set to testify next Tuesday before a Senate appropriations subcommittee on the DoJ budget. Demagogs have warned that he will be questioned on his Russia ties. Earlier this week it was reported that Trump was furious with Sessions over his decision to recuse himself from the FBI investigation, and that Sessions had offered to resign as AG. In closed door testimony Thursday following the open Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Comey reportedly told senators that Sessions may have met a third time with Kislyak and failed to disclose the meeting when asked in congressional testimony. The reference is to an Apr 2016 function at a Washington hotel address by Lavrov that was attended by Sessions and Jared Kushner. Following Comey’s testimony, Chuck Schumer said:

(Comey’s statements) raise serious questions about AG Sessions that he and the DoJ must answer immediately.

Jeff Sessions agrees to testify before Senate intel panel
AP, Jun 10 2017

AG Jeff Sessions has agreed to appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the presidential election. In a letter Saturday to Sen Richard Shelby, Sessions writes that his decision to appear comes in light of last week’s testimony by fired FBI Director James Comey. Sessions had been scheduled to discuss the DoJ budget before a Senate panel chaired by Shelby. Sessions says it’s clear the Russian investigation would become the focus of questioning. Sessions recused himself from a federal investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign after acknowledging that he had met twice last year with Ambassador Kysliak, despite having said during his confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.

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