Persons who were close to former FBI director James Comey, who President Donald Trump fired on Tuesday, are contradicting Trump’s claims that Comey told him that he wasn’t under investigation.
“That is literally farcical,” said one person who had worked close with Comey, referring to the fact that the bureau’s policies wouldn’t allow the former director to tell Trump one way or another since it was an active investigation.
Trump included in his letter relieving Comey of his duties his gratitude for explaining that he wasn’t being investigated by the bureau.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” Trump wrote to Comey.
In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump reiterated that Comey had told him that he wasn’t being investigated. In one of three instances, Trump says he asked Comey whether he was being investigated while the FBI director was asking to keep his job. “I had a dinner with him because he wanted to stay on…as the FBI Head, and I said I’d consider,” Trump said. “At that time he told me, ‘you are not under investigation.'”
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 11, 2017
Yet the way Trump explains Comey telling him he’s not under investigation doesn’t sit right with many people at the bureau. And many at the FBI “were not pleased with how it was handled, saying it was perhaps on the unprofessional side,” said Dave Johnson, a retired FBI supervisor.