DNC Response to Trump’s NBC Interview
May 11, 2017
DNC Deputy Communications Director Adrienne Watson released the following statement in response to Donald Trump’s interview today with NBC’s Lester Holt:
“We all know why Trump fired Comey. Trump confirmed today that the White House has been lying for the past two days – He was going to fire Comey whether he had a valid reason or not. Note to Trump: This is not Russia and the FBI is not the FSB.”
Trump today said that he was going to fire FBI Director Comey “regardless of recommendation:
TRUMP: “I was going to fire [Comey] regardless of recommendation.”
This directly contradicts what White House officials have said repeatedly over the past two days:
- Mike Pence said that Trump “made the right decision at the right time to accept the recommendation” of Rosenstein and Sessions.
PENCE: “President Trump made the right decision at the right time to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general, to ask for the termination, to support the termination of the director of the FBI.” [At This Hour, CNN, 5/10/17]
- Sarah Sanders said that Trump did not make his decision to fire Comey until after Rosenstein presented his recommendation in writing.
SANDERS: “My understanding is the decision was actually made on Tuesday, that the first conversation that he had was on Monday when there was an oral recommendation made and the president requested that he see that in writing to review it further.” [White House Daily Briefing, 5/10/17]
- Sean Spicer said President Trump immediately followed Rosenstein’s recommendation to fire Comey.
Washington Post: “As Spicer tells it, Rosenstein was confirmed about two weeks ago and independently took on this issue so the president was not aware of the probe until he received a memo from Rosenstein on Tuesday, along with a letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending that Comey be fired. The president then swiftly decided to follow the recommendation, notifying the FBI via email around 5 p.m. and in a letter delivered to the FBI by the president’s longtime bodyguard.”
- The White House’s stated justification for firing Comey was that Trump simply accepted the recommendation of Rosenstein and Sessions.
Politico: “Trump also tried to drive home the White House’s stated justification — that he simply accepted the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, that Comey had botched the Clinton probe and was incapable of properly handling the job.”