Sen. Susan Collins said Friday morning it was FBI Director James Comey who started the practice of clearing the room so he could have a one-on-one discussion with the president. Collins said this may have given Trump the idea that this was the natural protocol with sensitive matters.
From Friday morning's edition of CNN's New Day:
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: But how could he not know when he asked the A.G. and his son- in-law and others to leave. And when they tried to re-enter, told them to leave so he could talk to Comey? I mean doesn't that tell you everything you needed to know about whether or not the president was being - acting in ignorance or acting with complete intentionality?
SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS: Not necessarily, and here's why. The first interaction that the president had with Mr. Comey in early January at Trump Tower, it was the FBI director who cleared the room so that he could have a one- on-one discussion with the president about that salacious dossier. And I wonder if perhaps that made the president think that whenever there's some sensitive conversation to be had with the FBI director, that it should be one-on-one, because he had two subsequent one-on-one meetings, as well as other phone calls, with the FBI director. That doesn't make it right, but ironically perhaps the FBI's actions in that first meeting sent a signal to the president that that is how their interactions should take place.