Two days after a White House statement noted that President Donald Trump sacked FBI director James Comey on the recommendation of top justice officials, the businessman-turned politician contradicted such when he said on Thursday that he always intended to fire Comey.
“I was going to fire him regardless of recommendations,” Trump told NBC in an interview, after days in which the White House has struggled to convince Congress members and the US public that the move was not politically motivated.
“I was going to fire Comey. My decision,” he added.
Trump called Comey a “showboat” and a “grandstander”, while also admitting that he had asked the FBI chief to tell him if he was under investigation.
The comments by Trump drew the ire of Mark Warner, a top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Frankly, I’m offended at the president’s comments,” Warner told reporters. “This is a continuing pattern of disrespecting the men and women who serve in our intelligence community.”
Trump fired Comey two days ago in a move to restore public trust according to him.
He said Comey who had been leading an FBI investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election was no longer able to effectively lead the law-enforcement agency.
Comey had been embroiled in a controversy surrounding his investigation into whether Clinton’s use of a private email server while US secretary of state during Barack Obama’s first term as president compromised national security.
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