President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos, who is not listed in the photo, at the White House in Washington on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Susan Walsh AP Photo

President Donald Trump’s most recent statements concerning the Russians are sketchy in several ways. On one side, President Trump states that his political rivals agree with him that there had not been any conspiracy involving his presidential campaign and the Russians. Nonetheless, his critics are certainly not assured of that.

Evidently he is also attributing part of the accountability of firing FBI Director James Comey a Justice Department official. Previously he had taken total responsibility for that final decision.

Here’s an evaluation of his statements:

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“Even my adversaries have said there wasn’t any conspiracy.”
The important points: Democrats have not said that Trump is innocent of the controversy over whether his campaign plus Russian officials have conspired a year ago to try to hinder Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Several Democrats have said they haven’t yet seen evidence of conspiracy, however that does not mean they are satisfied because it did not happen.

Trump has quoted James Clapper as director of national intelligence until Trump assumed the presidency on January 20, among others, to illustrate someone who is “convinced” that there was no conspiracy.

Clapper explained recently that although he was quoted saying through a report in January he found no evidence of conspiracy, he was not aware that by then the Federal bureau of investigation was deepening its investigation in to a “potential political conspiracy relating to the Trump campaign and the Russians” and that he was not aware of what the FBI may have found. The FBI investigation continues, just like the Congressional investigations, and now also the special prosecutor.

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– On his final decision to fire FBI Director James Comey: “When I made the decision I seriously thought – and I also received a very, very strong recommendation, you know, from Under Secretary of Justice Rod Rosenstein.”

THE FACTS: The advice that Trump cites to endorse his decision had been written after he’d already decided to fire Comey, according to Rosenstein and with an earlier affirmation from Trump himself.

During an meet with with NBC two days after he dismissed Comey on May 9, Mr. Trump explained he had been making plans for a few months to dismiss Comey, plus associated his final decision towards the FBI’s Russia inquiry by announcing: “From Fact, after i decided to do it, I told myself, I said, you realize, this Russian thing with Trump and Russia is an invented story. ”
Within a document before senators behind closed doors, Rosenstein said Thursday that he was notified that President Trump had decided to fire Comey before writing his memorandum supporting the grounds for the termination, said Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.

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