Volatility resurgent on reports Trump requested Comey end Flynn investigation
(ShareCast News) - US President Donald Trump asked former FBI director James Comey to drop an investigation into his ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a memo leaked to the New York Times.
Flynn was forced into resignation in February, just 17 days after being appointed to the Trump administration following accusations that he had improper contact with the Russian embassy in Washington. Comey's sacking last week drew further criticism towards the US President, who now faces calls to release further details of his conversation with the former FBI chief.
According to the NY Times, Comey wrote a memo directly after an Oval Office meeting with Trump in which he quoted the President as saying "He is a good guy, I hope you can let this go".
Those reports saw the Chicago Board of Options Exchange's VIX volatility index jump 9.86% to 11.70 in overnight trading.
Trump's presidency has been dogged by constant speculation pertaining to his election campaign's purported links to the Kremlin, which came to a head once again on Tuesday as it was reported he revealed classified information to senior Russian officials.
Comey's memo reportedly documents the meeting between himself and Trump which took place the day after Flynn resigned from his position as national security adviser.
WHITE HOUSE DENIAL
The White House fervently rejected the accuracy of the leaked memo, in a statement released in response to the article.
"While the president has repeatedly expressed his view that General Flynn is a decent man who served and protected our country, the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn," the statement said. "The president has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey."
If proven to be accurate, the memo could be the clearest indication yet that Trump has attempted to pressure the FBI into an ongoing investigation into his campaign's links to Russia.
Prominent US senator Bernie Sanders once again called for a special prosecutor to be appointed in order to conduct a fair investigation into the allegations.
"We need a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation," Sanders said. That's where we are right now. It is a sad day for our country."
Accendo Markets' Michael van Dulken pointed out that perhaps the most worrying thing for investors in the long-term is Trump's loss of support among Republican lawmakers.
"This adds to a darkening cloud of controversy and disarray hovering over the White House," the analyst said. "It also means more questions about the administration's ability to garner enough Republican, let alone bipartisan support, for the policy pledges for which investors are growing increasingly impatient."