President Donald Trump considered firing former FBI Director James Comey starting the day he was elected last November, deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday.
“He’d lost confidence in Director Comey. And frankly he’d been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected,” Sanders said at the White House press briefing.
Comey’s surprise firing late Tuesday came amid the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election and into the possibility of ties between Trump associates and the Russian government.
The decision to fire Comey was especially surprising given the delight Trump took on the campaign trail in the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Trump said it “took a lot of guts” for Comey to announce with days to go before Election Day that the bureau was examining additional evidence related to its investigation into Clinton’s email practices.
According to documents released Tuesday by the White House, it was Comey’s public airing of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s homebrew email system that served as the basis for his firing.