Before President Donald Trump abruptly fired him on Tuesday, former FBI Director James Comey had requested additional funding and staffing for the agency’s investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 election, multiple sources reported Wednesday.
This news provides a possible explanation for the timing of Trump’s stunning decision.
Comey met last week with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, after the Senate Intelligence Committee had asked the FBI director to accelerate the bureau’s investigation. Rosenstein wrote a memo that provided Trump’s reasoning for firing Comey on Tuesday night, titled “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI.”
Rosenstein wrote that he had recommended Comey be fired because the director “made serious mistakes” in how he handled Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private emails.
Sarah Isgur Flores, the Justice Department’s top spokeswoman, told HuffPost that the reports regarding Comey asking for more money were “totally false.”
Trump did not offer an explanation for Comey’s sudden dismissal, telling reporters on Wednesday that he’d fired the director simply “because he was not doing a good job.”
Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting.