President Donald Trump has grown increasingly enraged by the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian officials, helping spur him to fire FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday evening, several White House aides told Politico.
Trump has repeatedly asked his advisers why the investigations — being conducted by the FBI, House, and Senate — would not go away and sometimes screamed at the television while watching stories about them, aides said.
The president has publicly called the Russia investigations “fake news” and a “witch hunt.”
Trump reportedly turned against Comey after the director admitted to the Senate that the FBI is investigating Trump campaign aides and said there is no evidence supporting Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped him in the run-up to the election.
A few hours after news of Comey’s firing broke, top Trump spokespeople, including counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, and deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, appeared on television defending the president’s decision and reflecting his frustration with the Russia investigation.
Sanders called for an end to the Russia investigation, which she called “absurd.”
“When are they going to let that go? It’s been going on for nearly a year,” Sanders told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night. “Frankly, it’s kind of getting absurd. There’s nothing there … It’s time to move on and frankly it’s time to focus on the things the American people care about.”
Conway told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the Russia investigation had nothing to do with Comey’s firing, pushing the administration’s line that Trump lost confidence in Comey over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.
“This has nothing to do with Russia,” she said. “Somebody must be getting $US50 every time (Russia) is said on TV.”
Sanders also said that she does not think Comey’s firing will have any affect on the ongoing investigations.
“I don’t think it affects at all in any capacity whatsoever,” she told Carlson. “You will have the same people that will be carrying it out to the Department of Justice. The process continues both I believe in the House and Senate committees and I don’t see any change or disruption there.”
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