Oh, and a current White House official is being looked at by the FBI in its investigation of ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
The day after President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI director James Comey, he met with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak, a meeting where Trump not only reportedly revealed highly classified intel on ISIS but badmouthed Comey, according to a report out Friday.
An unnamed US official read portions of a document describing that meeting to the New York Times, and according to the document, Trump said, “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job… I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
One White House official told the Times Trump was just using a negotiation tactic by trying to argue that Russia’s meddling was now causing him a lot of problems and therefore Russia should give him concessions.
The US and Saudi Arabia signed arms deals worth almost $110bn on Saturday, the first day of President Donald Trump’s visit to the traditional US ally.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the arms agreements will help Saudi Arabia deal with “malign Iranian influence”.
“The package of defence equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf region,” Tillerson told reporters in Riyadh on Saturday.
This is “in particular in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian-related threats which exist on Saudi Arabia’s borders on all sides,” Tillerson said.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Riyadh, said that the arms deal would be seen by both signatories as a “win-win”, especially as the deal involved arms that Obama was not prepared to sell to Saudi Arabia, including missile defence systems.
Sweden’s top prosecutor, Marianne Ny, said on Friday that she has “discontinued” an investigation into allegations that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, raped a woman in Stockholm in 2010, and withdrawn an international warrant for his arrest.
Julian Assange has declared that “the proper war is just commencing” after Swedish prosecutors unexpectedly dropped their investigation into an allegation of rape against him, ending a torturous seven-year extradition battle that nevertheless leaves significant question marks over his future.
The 45-year-old WikiLeaks founder appeared on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had sought asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, and said Friday’s decision was “an important victory”.
The former FBI director James Comey is to testify in public during the US inquiry into Russian interference, it has been announced, as a series of damaging revelations pile further pressure on the embattled president Donald Trump.
Comey, who was sacked by Trump on 9 May in the midst of an investigation into the president’s links to Russia, is to give evidence in an open hearing of the Senate intelligence committee at some point after US Memorial Day on 29 May, the committee announced on Friday.
The announcement came as the Washington Post reported that a White House official had been identified as a “significant person of interest”by the law enforcement investigation into links between Russia and the Trump election campaign.