An Illinois congressman said Sunday (11 June) he does not believe President Donald Trump's unusual requests for private meetings with former FBI chief James Comey were due to inexperience. Luis Guttierez slammed the president as a "con artist" who "knew exactly what he was doing".
The Democrat made his comments during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union. Gutierrez said he disagreed with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who last week said Trump's requests occurred because he is inexperienced in the ways of Washington.
"He knew exactly what he was doing," Gutierrez told CNN's Brianna Keilar. He said Trump's actions showed he knew that he was breaking with White House protocol, CNN reported.
"He asked his son-in-law to leave the room. He asked the attorney general to leave the room, and he asked the vice president to leave the room," he said. "That sounds like somebody who knew exactly what he was doing, because he didn't want any witnesses when he went and spoke to the director."
Gutierrez said those actions pointed to a person who planned his actions. "I know a con artist when I see one. And I saw a con artist that day," he said.
On Thursday (8 June), Comey testified under oath that the president said he "hoped" he would "let go" of the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey said he took Trump's comment to be a directive to end the probe, which he did not do.
Trump contradicted those claims at the White House a day after Comey's testimony. When asked by a reporter about Comey's testimony, the president said he never asked him to make the Flynn's investigation go away.
"So, he lied about that?" the reporter asked.
"Well, I didn't say that. I mean, I will tell you, I didn't say that," Trump replied.