Every time FBI Director James B. Comey appeared in public, an ever-watchful President Trump grew increasingly agitated that the topic was the one that he was most desperate to avoid: Russia.
Trump had long questioned Comey’s loyalty and judgment, and was infuriated by what he viewed as the director’s lack of action in recent weeks on leaks from within the federal government. By last weekend, he had made up his mind: Comey had to go.
At his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., Trump groused over Comey’s latest congressional testimony, which he thought was “strange,” and grew impatient with what he viewed as his sanctimony, according to White House officials. Comey, Trump figured, was using the Russia probe to become a martyr.
Back at work Monday morning in Washington, Trump told Vice President Pence and several senior aides — Reince Priebus, Stephen K. Bannon and Donald McGahn, among others — that he was ready to move on Comey. First, though, he wanted to talk with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his trusted confidant, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, to whom Comey reported directly. Trump summoned the two of them to the White House for a meeting, according to a person close to the White House.
The president already had decided to fire Comey, according to this person. But in the meeting, several White House officials said Trump gave Sessions and Rosenstein a directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey.
WASHINGTON POST, 11th MAY, 2017
New acting FBI director contradicts White House
(Courtesy: CNN), May 11, 2017 -
CNN reported Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe disputed Thursday the White House’s assertion that FBI employees had lost faith in James Comey, saying the former FBI chief had “broad support” within the agency.”I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity,” McCabe told members of the Senate intelligence committee.He said Comey enjoyed “broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.” He added, “The majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey.”
On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said that the President “and the rest of the FBI” had lost confidence in Comey. She said the White House had heard from “countless” members of the FBI to that effect.