Donald Trump’s ever-changing story of why he fired former FBI Director James Comey amid an active investigation into the former reality show star’s campaign for possible collusion with Russia was just smashed to bits.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday defended the memo he wrote to Trump, which the alleged president initially cited as a recommendation to fire Comey earlier this month. Trump used Rosenstein’s words to say that he recommended firing Comey. Of course, Trump changed that version later to say that he would have fired him anyway without the recommendation.
As it happens, though, Trump decided to fire Comey before Rosenstein was asked to pen the memo.
Rosenstein, according to his a copy of his prepared remarks at a briefing before the US House of Representatives, said that he learned on May 8 that Trump intended to fire Comey and that Trump sought Rosenstein’s “advice and input” that same day.
The next day Rosenstein issued the memo to Trump, and Comey was swiftly dismissed.
Rosenstein did say in the closed-door briefing that he “chose the issues to include in my memorandum” and believed it was time for new leadership at the FBI, but he added that it was “not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination.”
Rosenstein detailed why he thought Comey’s public statement about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal was “profoundly wrong and unfair both to the Department of Justice and Secretary Clinton.”
Rosenstein said that he stands by his memo, then closed his prepared remarks by adding that he is “not aware” of any requests by the FBI to receive additional resources for the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.
Rosenstein told Congress he knew DJT plan to fire Comey before writing memo—says it was not a justification for firing; blows apart WH story pic.twitter.com/rD0Lnx10zY
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 19, 2017
The White House and Vice-President Mike Pence, as well as numerous senior aides, repeatedly referred to the Rosenstein memo which listed the ways Comey mishandled the Clinton email controversy. And really, are we to believe that Donald ‘Lock her up’ Trump felt that Hillary Clinton’s unfair treatment by James Comey just before the election was the reason behind the firing of the former FBI Director – and it’s totally not because he was leading an investigation into the Trump administration’s alleged ties to Russia?
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.