| For two days, the White House pointed to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein‘s letter criticizing FBI Director James Comey‘s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as the basis for President Donald Trump‘s firing of Comey. Vice President Mike Pence even went to Capitol Hill and cited Rosenstein’s recommendation repeatedly.
Turns out, it was all bogus. “I was going to fire Comey,” Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt in an interview today. “Regardless of the recommendation I was going to fire Comey.”
So why did Trump really fire Comey? This surprising admission, from deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at today’s press briefing, on the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, seems more on target. “We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity,” she said. “And we think that we’ve actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.”
FBI vs. the White House: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe appeared at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing today — and he rejected the White House’s repeated claims that morale at the FBI had dropped under Comey’s leadership. “No, that is not accurate,” McCabe said. CNN’s Tom LoBianco rounds up the hearing’s highlights.