White House Says Hillary Clinton 'Would Have Fired Comey Immediately'
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 12, 2017,
May 12, 2017, 0:45
For weeks, President Donald Trump had been seething.
The swirling questions about possible contacts between his presidential campaign team and Russian Federation just wouldn't stop, and he felt it was overshadowing his early achievements.
Meantime, inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation, morale among agents had taken a beating months before last night's firing of Director James Comey.
President Donald Trump speaks with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House May 10, 2017.
Trump, in a letter to Comey dated Tuesday, contended that the director had told him "three times" that he was not personally under investigation.
Trump advisers said the president asked Mr Rosenstein to put his thoughts in a memo, before firing Mr Comey. The people recounting the behind-the-scenes activity spoke only on condition of anonymity to disclose private discussions.
The president says his decision was motivated strictly by Comey's mishandling of a high-stakes probe into the emails of his presidential rival, Hillary Clinton. "We'd love for that to be completed so that we can all move on".
However, he admitted, if "dramatic changes like that did occur, there's a lot of us that would reconsider exactly what is going on".
But a letter by Trump to Comey on Tuesday made no mention of the Clinton email scandal, appearing instead to refer to the Russian Federation probe.
Many questions remained about what caused Trump to move so quickly.
Democrats intensified accusations on Wednesday that Comey's removal was meant to undermine the FBI probe and demanded an independent investigation.
Several Republican lawmakers have also expressed deep concern about the timing and rationale of Comey's dismissal, and some have joined in the calls for an independent congressional investigation. I look forward to learning more about the decision by the attorney general and deputy attorney general.
The White House would not say whether Trump knew.
Many Democrats who previously had called for Comey's ouster are now crying foul.
"An erosion of confidence", plus written recommendations from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dated May 9, persuaded Trump to fire Comey and begin a search for a successor, she said.
Initially, the White House indicated the photo spray would be with Lavrov.
"If Rosenstein believes, as I do, that the American people must be able to have faith in the impartiality of this investigation, he must appoint a special prosecutor and get his investigation out of the hands of the FBI and far away from the heavy hand of this administration", Schumer said in the Senate Wednesday. Bob Casey, D-Pa., declared on Twitter on Tuesday, calling for a "special prosecutor to continue the Trump/Russia investigation".
The FBI has said that when his wife first considered running for the seat, McCabe consulted with FBI ethics officers for guidance to prevent against actual or potential conflict of interest.
The president was taken aback, according to a person with knowledge of the call.
White House officials are scrambling to justify the timing of Comey's termination, insisting that he lost his job because of his conduct in the probe into Hillary Clinton's emails past year. "The pretext that Comey was sacked because he was too mean to Hillary Clinton sharply contrasts with cries of 'Lock her up.' It is long past time for my Republican colleagues to stop covering up and start exposing Trump to an independent, non-partisan commission as I have urged since November".