Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

White House Struggles to Straighten Its Story on Comey

White House Struggles to Straighten Its Story on Comey

"I was going to fire him regardless of recommendations".

She dismissed questions about the shifting White House stories of the firing and said new leadership was needed at the FBI, partly to bring the Russian Federation investigation to a swift close.

The absence of former FBI Director James Comey loomed large over the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing with top us intelligence leaders, but his temporary replacement, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, assured lawmakers he would not bend to pressure from the White House.

"That is not accurate", McCabe said in response to a senator's question. "He said, 'You are not under investigation'".

In the NBC interview, Mr. Trump also said he asked Mr. Comey on at least one occasion whether he was under investigation. "The president asked that they put those concerns and their recommendation in writing, which is the letter that you guys have received", Sanders said, describing the president's instructions to Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. McCabe told a Senate panel it was not "standard practice" to tell an individual whether they are or are not under investigation.

The White House tried to move past the controversy, announcing that the president had signed an executive order creating a voter fraud commission and another on cybersecurity.

Trump's frustrations with Comey surfaced after the former director formally disclosed an ongoing investigation into Russia's meddling with the 2016 election, and after Comey said the FBI was examining any potential Russian ties to Trump's advisers and campaign associates.

Comey went on to express his hope that even during this crisis, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will continue to operate efficiently to maintain state security. He promised he would tolerate no interference from the White House and would not provide the administration with updates on its progress.

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It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing. He said there has been no interference so far.

Days before he was sacked, Comey requested more resources to pursue his investigation, USA officials have said, fueling concerns that Trump was trying to undermine a probe that could threaten his presidency.

Now, it's possible that Comey made the request without telling anyone, including his top deputy - despite the significance of the investigation-and that the DOJ subsequently lied about it.

The president said he seeks a top-notch successor to Comey, but a nomination did not appear imminent this week.

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"After watching Director Comey's testimony last Wednesday [at Capitol Hill], the President was strongly inclined to remove him".

"That surprised me, that a guy as highly prized as Rosenstein, on the basis of legal talent, professionalism in the department, would pull things out of a newspaper and quote them, in terms of somebody else's opinion of Comey", Feinstein said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected that suggestion. He also said he is comfortable with Republican cooperation in the committee and they will have more open hearings on Russian Federation soon.

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Rosenstein's written critique of the former director, and Sessions' concurrence, both dated May 9, argued that Comey erred while managing the FBI's investigation previous year of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

But Rosenstein's own role in Comey's firing became increasingly murky Wednesday. Those officials made the request in a letter on Thursday to Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The White House also issued a timeline claiming how Trump lost confidence in Comey over the course of the last several months.

The interview marks Trump's first comments since Comey's termination on Tuesday.

Former justice department official Eric Columbus is among those noting that Mr Rosenstein stopped short of specifically recommending that Mr Comey be fired.

It's unclear whether Rosenstein was aware his report would be used to justify the director's ouster.

White House officials and others insisted on anonymity in order to disclose private conversations and internal deliberations.

"The timing of director Comey's dismissal to me and many committee members on both sides of the aisle is especially troubling", Warner said.

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