Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Thursday that it was inappropriate for President Donald Trump to ask former FBI Director James Comey directly whether the bureau was investigating him.
“No, I don’t believe it is,” Sanders told reporters at the daily press briefing.
Trump told NBC News on Thursday that he personally sought information about whether the FBI was probing him from Comey, whom he abruptly fired on Tuesday, on three occasions, once in person and twice over the phone.
“I actually asked him. I said, ‘If it’s possible, would you let me know am I under investigation?’ He said, ‘You are not under investigation,’” Trump told Lester Holt.
When Trump fired him, Comey was overseeing the FBI’s ongoing investigation into whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the election through cyberattacks on Democratic Party officials.
Trump’s decision to fire Comey immediately prompted concerns from critics over whether he was attempting to impede on the FBI’s Russia investigation. The president’s comments to NBC could further raise questions over the investigation’s independence from the administration.