The New York Times reports that Comey’s request was motivated by concern over the FBI’s credibility as well as the prospect of raised expectations among Trump critics that federal law enforcement has clear evidence of Trump team ties to Russian officials.
It’s unclear where Trump got the idea to accuse Obama of wiretapping, although the accusations follow a Friday Breitbart article detailing conservative radio host Mark Levin’s attempts to prove Obama’s “police state” tactics and “silent coup,” ostensibly to hurt Trump’s campaign and boost Hillary Clinton’s.
Most Republicans have either downplayed a need for an independent probe into Russia’s activities or rejected the idea entirely. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to call for greater urgency amid FBI investigations and in light of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ support for Donald Trump during the primary campaign.
This year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner already had promised to be a break from the norm due to the toxic relationship Trump and his advisers are avidly pursuing with the press. Regardless, the WHCA says Trump’s absence won’t affect the event.