Deputy Attorney General Knew Trump Wanted Comey Fired Before He Wrote Damning Memo
WASHINGTON ― Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein already knew the president was going to fire FBI Director James Comey before he wrote a memo recommending the director’s termination, senators said he told them in a private briefing Thursday.
But the deputy attorney general refused to explain why he wrote the damning recommendation, knowing that Comey’s head was already on the chopping block, senators said.
“He did acknowledge that he learned Comey would be removed prior to him writing his memo,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told reporters after the briefing. “He knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to writing his memo.”
The all-senators meeting with Rosenstein left lawmakers with few new answers about why President Donald Trump fired Comey, and failed to clarify any of the circumstances leading up to his dismissal. Most Republicans who were willing to speak after session said it was reassuring, but many Democrats were fuming ― especially at Rosenstein’s refusal to answer questions about his memo.
“I’m not at all reassured. I think it’s deeply disturbing,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) “We learned nothing, except the things that were designed to make himself look good.”
Trump himself likely inspired further frustration, confusion and questions by saying in a news conference with the Colombian president Thursday afternoon that Rosenstein acted on his own.
“I also got very, very strong recommendation, as you know, from the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein,” Trump said. He argued that he expected Democrats would support him because Comey was doing a bad job, and that Rosenstein had a similar opinion.
“That was a poor, poor performance. So poor, in fact, that I believe ― and you’d have […]