President Donald Trump contradicts the White House on why FBI Director James Comey was fired
Yesterday, President Donald Trump in an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt said that he had planned to fire FBI Director James Comey all along, regardless of whether top Justice Department officials recommended the stunning step. Trump also told Holt that he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided Comey’s fate – contradicting the White House rationale that he fired the FBI director for mishandling the Clinton email investigation.
He also told Holt that then FBI Director Comey had asked to meet with Trump for a White House dinner meeting, where he told the president that he personally was not the focus of an investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election.
That goes against what for 48 hours the White House through their press office, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as well as top advisors including Vice President Mike Pence where telling the world. They were pushing the narrative the firing of the FBI director was because the Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein report and Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommended that President Trump sack Comey. They used the narrative that Comey was fired because of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal and because the director had lost the confidence of the agency.
The White House including Pence all were strong in saying that the Russia investigation never factored into the sacking of Comey.
Meanwhile, talking to members of Congress were hearing from acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe directly contradicted the White House on two points related to Comey’s firing and the agency’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
He pointed out that Comey never asked for a dinner meeting at the White House with President Trump. It was the president who asked Comey to come to the White House for a dinner meeting.
Comey, was uncomfortable meeting the president while members of his 2016 campaign was indeed under investigation. The FBI Director went forward to the dinner despite his reservations.
A day after the White House said Comey had “lost the confidence” of his employees, McCabe said Comey had a strong and positive relationship with the vast majority of FBI employees.
“Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” McCabe told senators on the Intelligence Committee.
So, was Comey fired by President Trump as he told Holt regardless of the report from Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and the recommendation of Attorney General Sessions?
Did Comey ask to have a dinner meeting at the White House to save his job and assure President Trump that he wasn’t the target of an investigation?
We have plenty of questions that over the coming days we hope that will be answered.