McCabe's statement directly contradicts what White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters May 10, when she said Comey was sacked because president Donald Trump, along with U.S. attorney general Jeff Sessions, had "lost confidence in him". "When he saw that, he had to speak up on that action, and I think that was the final catalyst", Ms Huckabee Sanders said earlier this week.
Trump advisers said the president met with Rosenstein, as well as Attorney General Sessions, on Monday after learning that they were at the White House for other meetings. "I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately". [Rosenstein] made a recommendation. Very smart guy. The Democrats like him. "I am not going to comment on anyone in particular because that puts me down a slope, because if I say no to that then I have to answer succeeding questions".
Trump was at his Bedminster golf club last weekend when, after weeks of frustration with Comey, he finally decided the director must be fired, according to reports by the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Did you know that TiVo is one of the the greatest inventions of all time? I know that. Everybody knows that. "It hasn't recovered from that".
"I was going to fire Comey", Trump said in an interview with NBC.
I have harshly criticized James Comey in the pages of the Guardian nearly too many times to count, but no matter one's views of Comey's positions, the fact that the president can suddenly fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation director who is now investigating him means that the president quite literally considers himself immune from accountability.
"It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the president's decision to remove Director Comey is related directly to this investigation", he said.
The dinner, the president said, was because Comey "wanted to stay on". "We consider it to be a highly significant investigation", he said instead. Comey took the extra step of giving Fitzgerald complete discretion to conduct the investigation, bolstering the special counsel's independence. At the heart of the storm: the growing sense that Trump fired Comey because of his agency's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation, a probe with which Trump had grown increasingly frustrated.
"I'll tell you this", Trump said, repeating, "if Russian Federation or anybody else is trying to interfere with our elections I think it's a frightful thing and I want to get to the bottom of it and I want to make sure it will never ever happen". You know that. I know that.
"I'm not under investigation", he repeated. "I'm not talking about campaigns, I'm not talking about anything else". The other thing is the Russians did not affect the vote.
US intelligence agencies concluded in a January report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to disrupt the election that included hacking into Democratic Party emails and leaking them, with the aim of helping Republican Trump.
FBI Director James Comey was sacked by Trump on Tuesday, creating a political firestorm and raising concerns in some circles about a constitutional crisis.