WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump and FBI Director James Comey’s firing (all times local):
The White House says that President Donald Trump had considered firing FBI Director James Comey “since the day he was elected president.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that the president had “lost confidence” in Comey and acted on the advice of the deputy attorney general and others when he decided to fire him on Tuesday.
Sanders said, “I think it’s been an erosion of confidence” and that there were a lot of “missteps and mistakes” leading up to the decision to let Comey go.
More than a dozen Republican senators voiced concerns about President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, in a series of statements suggesting that, on this issue, the GOP was not yet prepared to close ranks behind its president.
The unease expressed by key committee chairs and rank-and-file lawmakers alike on Wednesday came even as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed White House talking points on the issue and tried to shut down talk of a special prosecutor to investigate Russia issues.
Said West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito: “I think we need to find out what’s happened and why.”
Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell noted that Democrats themselves had repeatedly criticized Comey over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email issues. And he said that with the FBI and Senate intelligence committee already investigating Russian interference, nothing further was needed.
President Donald Trump is considering four high-ranking FBI officials to serve as the bureau’s interim director following the firing of James Comey.
Among the candidates is Andrew McCabe, who was elevated to acting director after Comey’s ouster Tuesday. A White House official says Trump is also considering assistant FBI director Paul Abbate, Chicago special agent Michael J. Anderson and Richmond, Virginia, agent Adam Lee.
The Justice Department is overseeing the interview process for the interim director, which is separate from Trump’s decision-making process on a permanent replacement.