Report: Pence, Kushner backed firing Comey

Report: Pence, Kushner backed firing Comey
© Greg Nash

President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Vice President Pence both supported the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, according to a report on Wednesday.

While the move took many by surprise in Washington, the report indicates that Pence and Kushner carried some weight on Trump's decision. 

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus raised concerns about the timing of the decision to fire Comey, The New York Times reported.

According to the newspaper, Trump originally voiced his frustration with Comey to a small circle of his advisers, including Pence, Kushner, Bannon, Priebus and White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II.

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Despite the fact that Bannon and Priebus have been critical of the FBI in the past, they argued that dismissing Comey later would reduce the degree of public backlash, two people familiar with their thinking told the newspaper.

Trump's decision to oust the FBI director on Tuesday did prompt a wave of criticism from the Democrats who questioned the timing of the move.

Trump defended his decision to fire Comey, claiming that the public will thank him "when things calm down."

"Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!" he tweeted.
 
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday pushed back on backlash, arguing that Trump has been considering removing Comey since the end of the 2016 election.

“The president … had lost confidence in Director Comey,” Sanders told reporters. “He’d been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected.”