Ousted FBI director James Comey "was insane", President Trump told Russian officials this month, adding that firing him had lifted a "great pressure", according to a written summary of the Oval Office meeting.
The newspaper cites the White House's official written account of the Oval Office meeting.
A combination photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) in the House of Representatives in Washington, U.S., on February 28, 2017 and FBI Director James Comey in Washington U.S. on July 7, 2016. I faced great pressure because of Russian Federation.
"I just fired the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
"No president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths all on one trip", national security adviser HR McMaster told reporters recently, adding that Trump was trying to "unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress, and prosperity".
A Justice Department spokeswoman told the Post that she "can't confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of investigations or targets of investigations".
The announcement, the latest in the shock-a-day Washington saga, was made by deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. But after The New York Times reported earlier this month that Trump had asked Comey for a loyalty pledge shortly after his inauguration, Wittes said, he saw Trump's behaviour in a "more menacing light" and chose to speak out. Mr. Comey publicly confirmed the existence of the investigation in March, telling Congress that his agents were investigating Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the presidential election and whether anyone in the Trump campaign had been involved. Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader.
"Former Department of Justice officials from both political parties have criticized Director Comey's decisions", he said in an opening statement. Rosenstein told members of Congress this week that he was "not aware" of a request from Comey for more resources on the Russian Federation investigation before he was sacked.
Separately, The Washington Post reported today that the FBI investigation into possible coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump presidential campaign was moving closer to the White House. That prompted then acting attorney general Sally Yates to warn the White House's top lawyer he might be susceptible to blackmail. Mr. Trump said as much in one televised interview, but the White House has offered changing justifications for the firing. "I don't think (Rosenstein) did a lot to bolster our confidence in him today". "My memorandum is not a statement of reasons to justify a for-cause termination", he said.
Rosenstein briefed senators Thursday, just a week after Trump's stunning decision to fire Comey.
There is also the case of special counsel Mueller - Trump has called his appointment a "witch-hunt", and repeated it on Thursday. So the White House set about saying this was Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein's decision and issued a memo from him focused exclusively on the Clinton investigation.
"I believe that's why the deputy attorney general went out and wrote his very, very strong letter", Trump said.