According to a new report from the New York Times, sources close to former FBI Director James Comey say he’s willing to speak to Congress but has declined an invitation to testify in a closed door session, saying he wants his testimony to be public.
Comey’s offering of public testimony comes on the heels of a series of early-morning tweets from President Trump, who was clearly agitated over chatter that says he fired Comey in response to the FBI’s investigation into the White House’s Russia ties. Trump has also threatened to cancel White House press briefings, arguing that “it is not possible” for his staff to speak with “perfect accuracy” to the American people.
From the New York Times:
The White House’s original version of the story was that the president had acted on the recommendation of the attorney general and deputy attorney general and fired Mr. Comey because of his handling of last year’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. But in an interview with NBC News on Thursday, Mr. Trump said he had already decided to fire Mr. Comey and would have done so regardless of any recommendation. He also indicated that he was thinking about the Russia investigation when he decided.
Compounding Trump’s problems is the interview he gave NBC’s Lester Holt this Tuesday. In the interview, the President ditched his administration’s official narrative and for the most part admitted that it was the FBI’s Russia probe that prompted Comey’s firing.
“Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it,” Trump said.
“And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story,’” he added.
Up until the interview, the Trump administration had insisted that the recommendation to fire Comey came solely from newly confirmed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Watch an excerpt of Trump’s interview on NBC in the video below:
Featured image via Tua Ulamac (Flickr)