A few holes have already been blown into the story of why Donald Trump fired the director of the FBI – with some self-inflicted blasts coming from the president himself.
Doubt was cast Thursday on about five elements of the story.
The White House had stated the following: the FBI’s Russia investigation was no big deal, the investigation was unrelated to James Comey’s ouster, the ouster came at the behest of a senior Justice Department official, it helped boost morale at the FBI, and before being canned the director promised Trump he wasn’t being investigated.
One by one, the story’s pillars wobbled;
ONE: The White House tossed aside the main rationale from the previous day – that the firing happened because some official recommended it in the Justice Department. It’s the explanation offered by Vice-President Mike Pence, as well as the initial one from several White House spokespeople.
Turns out, it was Trump’s idea. He’d been planning it for a while, he asked for the recommendation, and why do the details of this matter, a White House spokeswoman shrugged 24 hours later.
“Like, why are we arguing about the semantics?” Sarah Sanders told Thursday’s daily briefing.
“Instead of getting so lost in the process – ‘Did this happen at 12:01 or 12:02? Did he fire him because he wore a red tie or a blue tie?’ – (Trump) fired him because he was not fit to do the job. It’s that simple.”
In an interview with NBC, Trump said he’d been planning to sack Comey no matter what the recommendation said: “I was going to fire regardless … (Comey)’s a showboat, he’s a grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil.”
Trump said he had dinner with the director.