The White House is telling reporters that President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey over his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
But the timeline of events — plus his tweets — just doesn’t add up.
During the election, Trump complained on Twitter about the FBI’s pro-Clinton slant — and it ramped up when Comey closed the investigation and said Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted.
It is impossible for the FBI not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. What she did was wrong! What Bill did was stupid!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2016
ATTN: @HillaryClinton - Why did five of your staffers need FBI IMMUNITY?! #BigLeagueTruth #Debates— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2016
“The vast majority felt she should be prosecuted..." -- even senior FBI officials thought Crooked was guilty. https://t.co/AFtDs7HVlt— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016
So if he believed Comey was ill-equipped to run the FBI because of the Clinton investigation, Trump would’ve fired Comey once he took office.
Instead, he asked Comey to stay on as FBI director and finish out the more than six years left on his 10-year term.
Shortly thereafter, Trump’s critique of the FBI — at least on Twitter — took a bit of a turn.
Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2017
The FBI is totally unable to stop the national security "leakers" that have permeated our government for a long time. They can't even......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
find the leakers within the FBI itself. Classified information is being given to media that could have a devastating effect on U.S. FIND NOW— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2017
He started complaining about the FBI leaks around an investigation into the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, and shortly thereafter Comey confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that there was, in fact, an ongoing investigation. Only after that was Comey fired.
In short, the timeline of events is going to make it incredibly difficult for Trump to keep claiming that Comey was fired over the Clinton investigation.