US President Donald Trump says he had always wanted to fire FBI Director James Comey, contradicting earlier statements by the White House and Vice President Mike Pence that he decided to do so on the recommendation of top justice officials.
“What I did is I was going to fire Comey, my decision,” Trump said during an interview on Thursday with NBC News’ Lester Holt. On Tuesday, Trump sacked Comey, who had been leading a politically-charged investigation into alleged ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia, telling him it was time for a “new beginning” at America’s “crown jewel of law enforcement.”
Later on, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump “accepted the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General regarding” Comey’s dismissal.
Pence said that Trump’s decision was based on “his commitment to the best interests of the American people and to ensuring that the FBI has the trust and confidence of the people this nation.”
But Trump told Holt that he “was going to fire regardless of recommendation. He (Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein) made a recommendation. He’s highly respected. Very good guy, very smart guy, the Democrats like him, the Republicans like him, he made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.”
Trump also said that Comey was “a showboat” and “a grandstander,” noting that “the FBI has been in turmoil.” He also admitted that he had asked the FBI chief to tell him whether he was under investigation over Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential elections in 2016.
The FBI as well as the US Senate and House intelligence committees have been investigating the matter and any possible ties between Trump’s associates and Moscow, which has repeatedly denied the allegations.
Culled from Presstv