Defending the firing, White House officials said Trump's confidence in Comey had been eroding for months.
While Democrats have complained about Comey's handling of the Clinton probe - particularly his decision just days before the November election to announce that he was reopening the probe in a move that Clinton blamed in part for her election loss - they have almost unanimously condemned Comey's dismissal because of his critical role this year overseeing the Russian Federation investigation. The investigation has shadowed Trump from the outset of his presidency, though he's denied any ties to Russian Federation or knowledge of campaign co-ordination with Moscow.
The White House declined to produce evidence of the three separate occasions the president referenced.
But congressional Democrats on May 10 stepped up their accusations that Comey's removal was meant to undermine the investigation and took steps to try to force Congress to authorize an independent investigation removed from White House influence.
"Sir, I can't comment on any conversations the director may have had with the president", McCabe responded. "My decision", Mr Trump said.
The investigation has shadowed Trump from the outset of his presidency, though he's denied any ties to Russian Federation or knowledge of campaign coordination with Moscow.
Top Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee are asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to divulge details about fired FBI Director James Comey's reported request for additional resources for the FBI's investigation into Russian election meddling.
"The reason I'm here today is not that he was sacked but because it was so clearly because Trump was afraid of something", Davis said.
Rothstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself on matters involving the Russia's hacking, recommended the firing to Trump.
"I have long believed that a president can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all", Comey wrote in the letter, first obtained by CNN.
By Monday, the paper said, he told aides he thought there was "something wrong" with Comey, and he wanted to get rid of him.
No collusion with Russians claims Donald Trump as Federal Bureau of Investigation row rumbles on
McCabe demurred, saying he "can't comment on any conversations the director may have had with the president". McCabe assured the committee that Comey's dismissal had not affected any FBI investigation.
Several people familiar with the decision say the President grew increasingly frustrated at Comey after his congressional hearing last Wednesday when he testified that he was "mildly nauseous" over the idea that he helped sway the election. The White House, by Wednesday, said the President had always been leery of Comey, despite repeatedly saying he had full confidence in him, and finally made a decision he had been mulling all year.
The FBI probe had intensified so much that Comey was receiving daily instead of weekly updates on the investigation, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It's unclear whether Rosenstein was aware his report would be used to justify the director's ouster.
Many Democrats have criticized Comey's management of the Clinton investigation, but they questioned the timing of his dismissal, given that Trump could have acted soon after taking office on January 20 and that he has repeatedly criticized the FBI and congressional probes into Russia's role in the election.
A farewell letter from Comey that circulated among friends and colleagues said he does not plan to dwell on the decision to fire him or on "the way it was executed".
White House and other US officials insisted on anonymity to disclose private conversations. Comey. Now that he has been fired they PRETEND to be aggrieved.
Yet as recently as last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump had "confidence" in Comey. He said Comey threw the Federal Bureau of Investigation into "turmoil". "The president took strong and decisive leadership here to put the safety and the security of the American people first".
"It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing", he said in the latter. President Bill Clinton dismissed William Sessions amid allegations of ethical lapses in 1993. We had a very nice dinner at the White House very early on...
"We consider it to be a highly significant investigation", he said.
"Nobody wants this to be finished and completed more than us", she said.
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