I'm not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed.
"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 and the American public that the move was not politically motivated.
White House officials said Mr Trump's confidence in the Federal Bureau of Investigation chief had been eroding for months. Former FBI agents said such a statement by the director would be all but unthinkable. "That's a question I would have to refer you to the Department of Justice". He's highly respected. Very good guy, very smart guy.
Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life.
Sen. Marco Rubio asked McCabe if Comey's firing had impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any investigation at the FBI.
In his own first question to McCabe, Burr asked the acting FBI director about one of the more puzzling and surprising statements in Trump's termination letter to Comey - that the law enforcement chief told the president on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation in regards to Russian Federation.
"No. And I also think, based on what I've seen, the Department of Justice has also pushed back and said that that's not accurate", Sanders said.
It's even something Trump threatened Hillary Clinton with in a presidential debate.
Leaders of the USA intelligence agencies, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA chief Mike Pompeo, testifying on Thursday said they agreed with that finding.
Mr Trump has denied ties to Russian Federation or knowledge of campaign co-ordination with Moscow. And we have a Senate Intelligence Committee ― you just played [Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman] Richard Burr ― doing an investigation. "And I want it to happen".
"The timing of this firing is wrong to anyone with a semblance of ethics", added Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. McConnell on Wednesday accused Democrats of having partisan motives and said the Senate Intelligence Committee should be permitted to do its work.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has repeatedly called for an independent investigation into Russian meddling with the US presidential election, and other Republicans were coming out Tuesday and Wednesday in support of that idea.
A day earlier, a White House spokesman had downplayed the importance of the probe, which is being conducted concurrently with the Senate committee's investigation and that of two other congressional panels.
Story updated at 12:40 to include information from Trump's interview with NBC.
No, the reason Comey was sacked was because he was leading an investigation into the possibility of Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation.
Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not mean to imply that President Donald Trump would visit the government agency that's a few blocks to the East of the White House today or tomorrow.
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