HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation?TRUMP: What I did is, I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not . . .HOLT: You had made the decision before they came in the room.TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it, by the way.HOLT: Because in your letter, you said, ‘I accepted their recommendation.’ So you had already made the decision.TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.
As Spicer tells it, Rosenstein was confirmed about two weeks ago and independently took on this issue so the president was not aware of the probe until he received a memo from Rosenstein on Tuesday, along with a letter from Attorney General Jeff Sessions recommending that Comey be fired. The president then swiftly decided to follow the recommendation, notifying the FBI via email around 5 p.m. and in a letter delivered to the FBI by the president’s longtime bodyguard. At the same time, the president personally called congressional leaders to let them know his decision. Comey learned the news from media reports.“It was all him,” Spicer said of Rosenstein, as a reporter repeated his answer back to him. “That’s correct — I mean, I can’t, I guess I shouldn’t say that, thank you for the help on that one. No one from the White House. That was a DOJ decision.”
MARK HALPERIN: Sarah, you’ve suggested in response to David’s questions that the deputy attorney general wrote this report on his own without orders from the White House. That’s correct, right?SANDERS: That’s my understanding, yes.HALPERIN: Okay. So once the report is written, when was it transmitted to the White House? And why was there urgency to act on it without an explanation directly from the president and without a replacement lined up? Why, once the report is written, why was there an urgency to act on it from the president's point of view?SANDERS: Look, I think when you receive a report that is so clear and a recommendation by someone like the deputy attorney general, you have no choice but to act.
This man is the president of the United States. He acted decisively today. He took the recommendation of his deputy attorney general, who oversees the FBI director. ... He has lost confidence in the FBI director and he took the recommendation of Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, to whom the FBI director reports to. The deputy attorney general has been on the job two short weeks. He went in there.
At the same time, he is taking the recommendation of his deputy attorney general and the attorney general of the United States that it is time for fresh leadership and to restore integrity at the FBI. This is what leaders do. They take decisive action based on the information they’re provided. That's what President Trump did today.