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Emails Show FBI Hated Comey Firing Proving Trump And White House Lied

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Newly unearthed communications from the FBI reveal the agency was not exactly celebrating its former director being fired, contradicting key claims from the White House last spring.

Just days after President Donald Trump fired former FBI director James Comey, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was then the White House’s Deputy Press Secretary, explained that the decision was made in part because of how Comey’s own agents had felt about him.

The president and the Department of Justice had lost confidence in Comey, Sanders explained on May 10. But, “most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director,” she added.

The following day, she reiterated her claims, stating that FBI agents had actually expressed their gratitude to her for Trump’s decision to terminate their director. “I’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the President’s decision,” she said.

Sanders is known to lie to and mislead the American public while speaking from the Press Briefing Room. So it’s not too shocking to find that she did so on this issue way back in May.

Benjamin Wittes, joined by several other authors at Lawfare Blog, filed an open records request for emails and other communications made by FBI agents and their superiors in the days after Comey was fired. And what they found largely contradicted Sanders’s claims of appreciation over that move.

“There was a lot of grief and sadness and shock,” Wittes explained in a recent interview on MSNBC. “It really shows that the White House claims at the time, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and the president, got up in front of the American people and lied about the FBI.”

Poring over 100 pages of communications between staff and leaders in the FBI, Lawfare Blog sums up what the White House refused to acknowledge: that Comey’s firing was a demoralizing loss for the agency.

According to the blog, the documents show “that no aspect of the White House’s statements about the bureau were accurate — and, indeed, that the White House engendered at least some resentment among the rank and file for whom it purported to speak.”

In other words, contrary to Sanders’s statements in May, FBI leaders and agents were shocked and bewildered, stunned even by the turn of events. They were not grateful — there was a sense of dismay and confusion, and notably loss, over Comey’s termination.

It shouldn’t be shocking to discover that Sanders and the White House lied about attitudes from within the FBI following the director’s dismissal. The president, after all, lied about why he fired Comey in the first place, and later admitted that it revolved around the Russia investigation, which was getting closer to the administration at that time.

Yes, it’s not shocking at all — but it’s still repugnant that the White House was so willing to lie, and lie repeatedly, about the issue in order to appear vindicated about the move.


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