It has been 36 hours given a White House announced that President Trump had dismissed James B. Comey as FBI director. And a motive and explanations for that pierce continue to tumble apart.
Below, we summation 3 claims that have been called into critical doubt and even directly contradicted by a White House itself.
1. That Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein instituted Comey’s firing
The Post’s Sari Horwitz scooped late Wednesday night that Rosenstein threatened to renounce after a White House pronounced he was a one who got a round rolling on banishment Comey. ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl has reliable this.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer primarily pronounced Tuesday night that it “was all him” — referring to Rosenstein — before softening it somewhat to contend that Rosenstein instituted a process. The Post’s Jenna Johnson wrote (emphasis mine):
As Spicer tells it, Rosenstein was reliable about dual weeks ago and exclusively took on this emanate so a boss was not wakeful of a examine until he perceived a memo from Rosenstein on Tuesday, along with a minute from Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending that Comey be fired. The boss afterwards quickly motionless to follow a recommendation, notifying a FBI around email around 5 p.m. and in a minute delivered to a FBI by a president’s longtime bodyguard. At a same time, a boss privately called congressional leaders to let them know his decision. Comey schooled a news from media reports.
“It was all him,” Spicer pronounced of Rosenstein, as a contributor steady his answer behind to him. “That’s scold — we mean, we can’t, we theory we shouldn’t contend that, appreciate we for a assistance on that one. No one from a White House. That was a DOJ decision.”
By Wednesday morning, White House confidant Kellyanne Conway pronounced a Rosenstein memo left Trump “no choice” though to glow Comey.
The initial problem with this is that Rosenstein, in his memo, didn’t privately disciple for Comey’s firing at all. He merely pronounced Comey had shop-worn certainty in law coercion with his actions, and he left it there. Trump clearly had a choice, given nobody else done it.
And some-more new statements from a White House make transparent that Trump indeed asked Rosenstein to write a memo and that he had been meditative about banishment Comey for months — even as distant behind as Election Day.
“He asked them for their recommendation formed on a review that they had on Monday,” White House emissary press secretary Sarah Sanders pronounced Wednesday. “He asked them to put that recommendation in writing. But they came to him on his own. And again, a boss had mislaid certainty in Comey from a day he was elected.”
In an talk Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Sanders again scaled behind Spicer’s comments, observant Rosenstein’s memo wasn’t “at a direction, necessarily” of Trump.
Finally, a White House expelled a timeline late Wednesday saying: “After examination Director Comey’s testimony final Wednesday, a boss was strongly prone to mislay him.”
That’s a distant cry from a balance Spicer was singing Tuesday night.
2. That it was given of the Clinton email investigation, not Russia
The Rosenstein memo done no mentions of Comey’s testimony final week, nor a misstatements he done in it that were reported progressing this week. The usually motive mentioned was announcements Comey done final Jul and in Nov per a review of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was portion as secretary of state.
And that was a good story line for a White House. It suggested it all had zero to do with a fact that Comey announced in Mar that a FBI was questioning purported ties between a Trump debate and Russia.
But this is also being called into critical question.
Conway muddied a waters as early as Tuesday night, revelation CNN that a preference indeed had “nothing to do with a debate of 6 months ago. This is all to do with a opening of a FBI executive given a boss has been in a White House.”
Okay. Except a White House itself now says Trump mislaid certainty in Comey before he was even inaugurated.
Then, The Post and others reported Wednesday that Comey had, small days ago, requested some-more resources for his Russia investigation — something a Justice Department is disputing.
Then, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported Wednesday that a source tighten to Comey pronounced he was dismissed for dual categorical reasons:
- “Comey never supposing a President with any declaration of personal loyalty.”
- “The fact that a FBI’s review into probable Trump group collusion with Russia in a 2016 choosing was accelerating.”
So that is it? Did Trump have to glow Comey given of a Rosenstein memo, that was all about things that happened during a 2016 campaign? Or was it usually about things that happened afterward, that isn’t mentioned in a memo?
3. That Trump mislaid certainty in Comey on Election Day
Let’s go behind to that Sanders quote from No. 1: “Again, a boss had mislaid certainty in Comey from a day he was elected.”
This is definitely contradicted by mixed other quotes from a White House in new weeks — and dating behind to a finish of a election.
On Oct. 28 — 11 days before Trump unexpected apparently mislaid certainty in Comey on Election Day and only after Comey had suggested there were some-more emails being examined in a Clinton review — Trump gave Comey a thorough, open opinion of confidence.
“I unequivocally disagreed with him. we was not his fan, though I’ll tell we what: What he did, he brought behind his reputation. He brought it back,” Trump said. “He’s got to hang tough given there’s a lot of, a lot of people wish him to do a wrong thing. What he did was a right thing.”
Trump himself afterwards pronounced in mid-April — reduction than a month ago — that he still had certainty in Comey, while also previewing that this could change.
“It’s not too late, but, we know, we have certainty in him,” Trump told Fox Business. “We’ll see what happens. You know, it’s going to be interesting.”
And Spicer pronounced only final week that Trump still had certainty in Comey.
“The boss has certainty in a director,” Spicer said May 3.
Either Trump mislaid certainty in Comey months ago, or he still had it final week. The White House can’t have it both ways. And that’s about as good a microcosm of this whole disaster as there is.
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