In an Oval Office meeting last week, President Donald Trump reportedly told Russian diplomats that ex-FBI Director James Comey is a “nut job” and that firing him relieved “great pressure,” according to The New York Times.
“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump reportedly said. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
The newspaper cited a document summarizing the meeting. The summary was read to the Times by an American official.
The Times notes that press secretary Sean Spicer “did not dispute the account.”
The White House spokesman said that Comey created “unnecessary pressure” on the Trump administration’s ability to have diplomatic relations with Moscow.
The meeting with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and its ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, came a day after Trump abruptly fired Comey. The FBI is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.
That probe extends to looking into any possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The Justice Department this week appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel in the probe.