The White House defended President Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, citing “new information” since he was fired.
“I think that that has been shown in the days that followed that the president was right in firing Director Comey. Since the director’s firing, we’ve learned new information about his conduct that only provided further justification for that firing,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a press briefing on Monday.
Sanders said that conduct included “giving false testimony,” leaking privileged information to journalists, and going outside the chain of command and politicizing an investigation into a presidential candidate.
After he was fired in May, Comey testified that he had created memos detailing his conversations with Trump and given copies to at least one friend so that he could leak them to journalists.
“I think the president’s been very clear about his position on that front. He’s very pleased with the new director and has full confidence in him to fully restore and lead the FBI,” Sanders added.
When asked whether Comey perjured himself in front of Congress or misled Congress, Sanders replied, “I think that’s something for the [Department of Justice] to look at, not me. I’m not an attorney.”
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon told CBS News 60 Minutes that firing Comey was the greatest mistake in “modern political history,” since it led to a broader investigation into Russian meddling and any collusion with the Trump campaign under special counsel Robert Mueller.
Bannon would not say whether he opposed firing Comey, but pointed to reports saying he opposed it. He did not refute reports that said the president’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner supported doing so.