Trump blasts Comey, acting FBI chief contradicts president

President Donald Trump blasted ousted FBI chief James Comey as a “showboat” and “grandstander” on Thursday even as the agency’s acting leader contradicted the president’s account that the FBI had been in turmoil before he fired Comey.

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe promised to tell the panel of any White House meddling into the agency’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

McCabe testified in place of Comey, who Trump abruptly dismissed as FBI director on Tuesday in an action that has roiled Washington. Democrats have accused the Republican president of trying to foil the FBI’s probe into Moscow’s actions and many have called for a special prosecutor to look into the matter.

“He’s a showboat. He’s a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil,” Trump told NBC News in his first interview since firing Comey. “I was going to fire Comey. My decision,” Trump said. “I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”

Trump told NBC News he never pressured Comey into dropping the FBI probe, adding, “If Russia did anything, I want to know that. McCabe’s testimony contradicted Trump’s appraisal of turmoil at the FBI under Comey.

“I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity,” McCabe added. “And it has been the greatest privilege and honor of my professional life to work with him.”

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