Wednesday’s White House press briefing was, not surprisingly, heavy on questions about the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the issues surrounding the firing, including whether the federal investigation into Russia’s possible ties to the Trump campaign and their influence on the election will continue. The answer was a definitive yes. In fact, Sanders said that Trump wants the FBI to do whatever they have to do.
“He wants them to continue with whatever they see appropriate … any investigation that was happening on Monday is still happening today,” Sanders said. “In fact, we encourage them to complete this investigation so we can put it behind us.”
This was a stronger version of what Sanders told Tucker Carlson Tuesday night. At that time, she said about Comey’s firing impacting the investigation, “I don’t think it affects it at all,” and also said, “it’s time to move on.”
Sanders also addressed whether new Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia investigation due to Attorney General Jeff Sessions‘ recusal, truly recommended that Comey be fired, or if President Trump directed Rosenstein to give that recommendation. Sanders said that the President did not give such a directive, and that Rosenstein gave the recommendation of his own volition. Trump said in his letter to Comey that both Rosenstein and Sessions recommended that he fire Comey from his position as FBI Director.
Also brought up was the President’s reference in his termination letter to three occasions where Comey supposedly said that Trump was not under investigation. Sanders would not go into details regarding the nature of those conversations or if the President was the one who asked Comey about it. Sanders did confirm that the discussion indeed took place.
[Image via CNN screengrab]