President Donald Trump’s frustration with congressional Republicans’ handling of the FBI director’s testimony on Thursday is evident, but it’s also growing more apparent.
| Getty House GOP backs Comey testimony but faces criticism from Democrats over ‘selective’ processTrump’s comments to NBC News on Thursday that he had “a lot of confidence” in Comey were widely viewed as a dig at Republican leadership.
But the president has repeatedly expressed his belief that he and others in his administration “can handle the Russia investigation.”
And his comments to reporters Thursday were widely interpreted as a sign that Trump was unhappy with what he saw as a process that had been “selective” in its presentation of the testimony.
The White House has not clarified whether Trump was referring to the process in which lawmakers would have to submit written statements and the process by which they would then receive a transcript of the entire exchange with Comey.
“We don’t have a very good process for this,” the president said of the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing.
“We’re going to have to be very selective in what we say, and we’re going a very long way to fix it.”
Trump said in his interview with NBC News that he was “unhappy” with the way the Republicans had handled the hearing, which was conducted under intense partisan pressure by the House.
“You can see they’re not happy.
They’re not doing a good job,” he said.
“They don’t seem to want to talk about it, either.
And I’m very disappointed.”
He also took a swipe at Republicans for being so partisan in their comments on Comey, noting that they were only speaking out against his administration, not the Russia probe.
“When I hear about some of the people that are opposed to me, they’re the ones that are against me,” he added.
“So when you talk about them being opposed to the investigation, that’s a big difference.”
In his NBC interview, Comey noted that his comments on Capitol Hill on Thursday were taken out of context and that the “tough question” was how much damage the Russian investigation had done to the Trump administration.
“I don’t think it’s a question of the damage to our country, or the damage we did, it’s the question of how much harm did it do to our presidency, the damage that it did to our people, and how did it hurt our people?”
He added, “I’m very frustrated.”
As the investigation dragged on and the White House continued to defend Trump, the president lashed out at Democrats for criticizing the way his administration has handled the investigation.
Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2020, also continued to call for investigations into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian government.
He also tweeted that the Russians did not pay him for his work as a private citizen.