Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Says Trump’s Decision to Fire Comey Was ‘Appropriate’

Comey in Dark Kevin Lemarque:Reuters
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was the right call, in prepared remarks he delivered to House and Senate members and released by the Justice Department.

“Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader,” Rosenstein said in the remarks.

The remarks will likely dampen Democratic accusations that Trump fired Comey because he wanted to stymie the FBI’s investigation into interference by Russia and any collusion with Trump’s campaign.

In the remarks, Rosenstein also batted down news reports that Comey had ever requested more resources for the investigation, and said acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe could not recall such a request either.

He also revealed that he had a discussion last winter with then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-GA) about the need for new leadership at the FBI, to restore its credibility.

The account from Rosenstein also agrees with Trump’s statements that the president had decided to fire Comey before he wrote the memo that the administration used to explain his firing.

He said he learned that Trump intended to remove Comey on May 8, and agreed with the decision, and wrote a memo summarizing his “longstanding concerns.”

“I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it,” he said.