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Administration officials sometimes sought to push the FBI to prioritize leak probes over the Russia interference case, and at other times urged the bureau to investigate disclosures of information that was not classified or highly sensitive and therefore did not constitute crimes, these people said.Over time, administration officials grew increasingly dissatisfied with the FBI’s actions on that front.Thomas O’Connor, the president of the FBI Agents Association, called Comey’s firing “a gut punch.We didn’t see it coming, and we don’t think Director Comey did anything that would lead to this.’’ Many employees said they were furious about the firing, saying the circumstances of his dismissal did more damage to the FBI’s independence than anything Comey did in his three-plus years in the job.Why was Sessions involved in discussions about the fate of the man leading the FBI’s Russia investigation, after having recused himself from the probe because he had falsely denied under oath his own past communications with the Russian ambassador?Why had Trump discussed the Russia probe with the FBI director three times, as he claimed in his letter dismissing Comey, which could have been a violation of Justice Department policies that ongoing investigations generally are not to be discussed with White House officials?First, though, he wanted to talk with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his trusted confidant, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Trump summoned the two of them to the White House for a meeting, according to a person close to the White House.
Another said Comey’s firing and the subsequent comments from the White House are attacks that won’t soon be forgotten.
“What Comey did to Hillary was disgraceful,” Stone said.
“I’m glad Trump fired him over it.” In fact, it was Schiller whom Trump tasked with hand-delivering a manila envelope containing the president’s termination letter to Comey’s office at FBI headquarters Tuesday afternoon.
But in the meeting, several White House officials said Trump gave Sessions and Rosenstein a directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey.
" data-credit="Russian Foreign Ministry/via AP" data-image="https:// Post/2017/05/10/National-Security/Images/United_States_Russia_50688-922cd.jpg? Democrats slowed committee business in the Senate to protest the lack of an independent investigation into Russia’s election meddling, and Republicans saw rifts emerge as more questioned the president’s decision.
Trump had “essentially declared war on a lot of people at the FBI,” one official said.