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May 12, 2017

White House wavers on reasons behind Comey firing

For the purposes of time, we recommend watching through 4:52.
  • Since the firing of FBI Director James Comey earlier this week, the White House has seemed to contradict itself several times on the reasoning behind President Donald Trump’s decision.
  • In an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump called Comey a “showboat” and said the FBI has been in turmoil over the past year as a result of his leadership. The president also said Comey told him on three separate occasions that he was not being investigated and would have fired him with or without the recommendation of Justice Department officials.
  • That response from Trump ran counter to the explanation offered by Vice President Mike Pence, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders this week that the decision to fire Comey stemmed largely from the Justice Department’s concerns.
  • On Thursday while testifying at a Senate hearing on various global threats, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.” He also promised that the ongoing FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump’s team was involved will continue.
  • Meanwhile, outrage over the firing of Comey while his agency is in the midst of investigating the president’s administration continued across the country with many calling for an independent prosecutor to continue the investigation.

  1. Essential question: Why is it important for the executive branch to be clear and open with the public about major decisions?
  2. Why are people concerned that President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey may have been personally motivated?
  3. Why are some calling for an independent prosecutor to take over the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia?
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