13 May, 2017
Speaking to NBC News, Trump told interviewer Lester Holt that he "was going to fire [Comey] regardless of the recommendation" of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo outlining the case for Comey's dismissal after a meeting at the White House on Monday.
In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe also pledged that he would inform the panel of any effort by the White House or others to interfere with the agency's probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Under grilling last week, the director refused to say whether he had launched a probe into illegal leaks by the Obama team of highly classified intelligence intercepts of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and possibly other private U.S. citizens working on the Trump transition. "He's keeping up-to-date", Hosko said.
Comey has not confirmed Trump's account. Comey reportedly found out that he had been fired around the time the news broke on television. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.
In the reality show known as 2017 that we're collectively living, when the president axed FBI Director James Comey this week, the heroic background music and bipartisan approbation Trump expected were replaced by yelps of protest, from defenders of democratic norms and independent investigations, and from gobsmacked congressional Democrats and a few Republicans exhausted from defending Trump's high-handed hijinks.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to disrupt the election that included hacking into Democratic Party emails and leaking them, with the aim of helping Trump. During recent testimony on Capitol Hill, the former director said he was "mildly nauseous" that his handling of the Clinton email issue may have impacted the 2016 election-in Trump's favor. "We are a large organization", McCabe said.
"The president made that decision".
Comey has not publicly discussed any conversations he had with Trump. McCabe said he was not aware of any such request and said the Russian Federation investigation is adequately resourced.
Previous presidents have made a public show of staying out of legal matters, so as not to appear to be injecting politics.
"And there will be lots of questions that come out of that", Hosko said. However, he doubled down on his claims of not just wiretapping but other forms of spying from President Barack Obama and Comey. "The next day, Tuesday May 9th, the Deputy Attorney General sent his written recommendation to the Attorney General, and the Attorney General sent his written recommendation to the President", Sanders said. Multiple officials, including Pence, said the president was acting at the behest of Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Yes, the president has the authority to remove Comey, they said.
Sanders attributed the disconnect in the week's explanations to the fact that she had not directly asked Trump when he'd made the decision to fire Comey until shortly before Thursday's press briefing.
The Trump administration has said Comey's firing was unrelated to the Russian Federation investigation. Some senior officials have discussed nominating Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who ran the House committee that investigated Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's actions in connection with the 2012 attack on a USA compound in Benghazi, Libya.
Trump's advisers have repeatedly tried to downplay the Russia-election matter, with Sanders saying Wednesday the FBI was "doing a whole lot more than the Russian Federation investigation". "We consider it to be a highly significant investigation". He promised he would tolerate no interference from the White House and would not provide the administration with updates on its progress.