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Comey a 'Grandstander,' 'Showboat' ... I Was Going to Fire Him Anyway
November 19 2017, 01:00 | Rex Rios
'A President Who Doesn't Play by Any Rules'
The White House said Trump is weighing options for replacing Comey, a decision that could have broad implications for the future of the Russian Federation investigation.
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The White House refused to provide any evidence.
Sens. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who sit on the Senate Appropriations Committee and oversee funding for the Justice Department, also asked Rosenstein to specify the circumstances surrounding Comey's request. But amid the tweets about fake news and a threat to cancel all press briefings, the tweet directed to Comey still stood out. Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores denied that Mr Comey had asked for more resources. "In fact, when I chose to just do it, I said to myself - I said, you know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story", Trump told NBC.
"He said, 'you are not under investigation.'" Trump claimed.
Sitting beside the heads of the CIA, NSA, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence, McCabe got a rough political baptism as senators grilled him over the circumstances surrounding Comey's firing, and the status of the investigation into Trump's Russian Federation ties.
"Look he's a showboat, he's a grandstander", Trump said. Rosenstein's letter never explicitly recommended Comey's removal - despite Republican claims to the contrary. Huckabee Sanders had said it was "probably one of the smallest things" on the FBI's plate.
In Senate testimony, Comey's temporary replacement, acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe, directly contradicted the president's claim that Comey had lost the respect of Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel.
But Trump, in an interview aired by NBC on May 11, restated his earlier comments that Comey had assured him three times that he was not under investigation. Trump has continually picked fights with the U.S. intelligence community, and the firing of Comey could back to have impeachable consequences for this president and his administration.
That disparity led to terse exchanges at Thursday's press briefing, where Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, struggled to explain why explanations of the controversial firing from her and other administration officials had been so off base.
President Trump defended his actions on Wednesday, saying Mr Comey was sacked "because he was not doing a good job".
The Republican president's remarks drew instant criticism from Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The Senate intelligence committee subpoenaed former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn for documents related to its investigation into Russia's election meddling.
McCabe later told the senators that he will not update the White House on the progress of the investigation.