James Comey accused the White House of lying about the circumstances of his firing Thursday.
“The administration…chose to defame me, and more importantly the FBI by saying the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple,” said Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey was referring to a statement made by White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on May 10:
"The DOJ lost confidence in Director Comey. Bipartisan members of Congress made it clear that they had lost confidence in Director Comey. And, most importantly, the rank-and-file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director." – White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
Comey maintains that his firing wasn’t related to the FBI being in disarray, but rather, he was removed because of the direction the Russian investigation was proceeding.
So did the White House lie? The president’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, stressed Thursday that Comey's testimony proved Trump did not collude with Russia during last year's election.
"Mr. Comey’s testimony also makes clear that the president never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election," said Kasowitz.
He continued, “The president told Mr. Comey it would be good to find out in that investigation if there were some satellite associates of his who did something wrong.”
Kasowitz also levied an accusation of his own:
"It is overwhelmingly clear that there have been and continue to be those in government who are actively trying to undermine this administration with selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications. Mr. Comey has now admitted that he is one of these leakers." - Marc Kasowitz
The FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn’s associations with Russia is ongoing, though no connection yet has been made to the Trump administration.
The media continues its obsession with “he said, she said” remarks. The White House said this. Comey said that. Speculation runs amuck, unchecked by facts.
Now at least three media outlets have had to retract or correct stories on a Senate hearing they thought was going to drop huge bombshells but only further exposed their bias.