FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday that President Donald Trump did not tell him to fire former FBI Director Robert Mueller, as the White House denied.
Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Trump had asked him to stay on as FBI director until after the election, but Comey told senators that he did not have the authority to do so.
“I had to tell the president,” Comey said.
Comey also said that the president had said he was going to fire Mueller for his handling of the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Comey’s remarks came as the Trump administration continues to defend Mueller as a “good guy.”
The president on Wednesday said Mueller was a “great man” and said he hoped he would be successful in the Russia probe, which Mueller was overseeing at the time.
Trump has called Mueller a “wonderful man” who is “a good guy,” but has said he could not fire him for his role in the Flynn investigation.
Trump fired Mueller earlier this month after the Justice Department determined he had lied to investigators about his interactions with Flynn.
“There was no collusion between my campaign and Russia.
There was no coordination between my team and Russia,” Trump said during a speech in Virginia on March 14.
“As to any Russia-related charges, we’re going to pursue them.”
The White House has also argued that the investigation is over, despite Comey’s testimony.