- Joshua Roberts/Reuters
Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Wednesday morning that President’s Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey was “the right decision at the right time.”
Pence, speaking publicly for the first time since the news of Comey’s ousting broke Tuesday night, said he was “grateful” for Trump’s “strong and decisive leadership” to remove Comey, whom Pence argued had lost the confidence of the American public.
“I’m confident as we go forward that the president will choose an individual who will be able to restore the confidence of our nation in our leading law enforcement agency,” Pence said.
When a reporter asked Pence whether Trump had directed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct a review of Comey, Pence did not respond directly, instead simply confirming that Trump accepted Rosenstein’s recommendation. Rosenstein was sworn into office just two weeks ago, which Pence noted in his response.
New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush disputed Pence’s statement, claiming that several sources he and other Times reporters have spoken with said Trump initiated the review.
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) May 10, 2017
Pence denied allegations that the decision to fire Comey was an attempt to stymie the FBI’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.
“That’s not what this was about,” he said, in response to a question from NBC News’ Kristen Welker.
Pence repeated Trump’s statement that Comey informed the president on multiple occasions that Trump is not the subject of the FBI’s investigation and asserted that there is “no evidence of collusion” between the campaign and Russia.