The White House on Wednesday said that President Donald Trump wanted to fire James Comey, sacked FBI Director, from day one of his inauguration as he had lost confidence in Comey.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, however, added that President Trump did have a conversation with the deputy attorney general on this matter.
"The President had lost confidence in Director Comey. Frankly, he'd been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected," Sarah Sanders told media persons.
Referring to Trump’s conversation with the deputy attorney general and the letter which became the basis for firing Comey, Sarah said, "The President asked that they put those concerns and their recommendation in writing.”
In his recommendation to Trump, Deputy Attorney General Rod J Rosenstein said that the FBI has long been regarded as the nation's premier federal investigative agency.
"Over the past year, however, the FBI's reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens," he said.
Soon after receiving the letter, Trump dismissed Comey.
"I have received the attachment letters from Attorney General and the Deputy General of the United States, recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from the office, effective immediately," Trump said in his letter to Comey.
Trump later told reporters the Comey was not doing a good job.
Sanders told reporters that most of America had decided on their own that Comey was not the person that should be leading the FBI, as evidenced by the numerous comments that they have seen from Democratic party members in the House and Senate, Republican members, members of the FBI, and people across the board.
"I think one of the big catalysts that we saw was last week, on Wednesday, Director Comey made a pretty startling revelation, that he had essentially taken a stick of dynamite and thrown it into the Department of Justice, by going around the chain of command when he decided to take steps without talking to the attorney general or the deputy attorney general, when holding a press conference and telling them that he would not let them know what he was going to say," she noted.
"That is simply not allowed," Sanders said.
(With AP inputs)