White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday denied that President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey was designed to derail the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s not a coverup,” Conway said during an interview with CNN. “You want this to be about Russia when this is about quote 'restoring and integrity at the FBI.' "
Conway backed up her statement by citing Trump’s dismissal letter to Comey, which claimed that the director informed the president on three separate occasions he was not the target of the probe.
Those conversations have not previously been disclosed and have not been independently confirmed by Comey or the FBI.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper peppered Conway with questions about Trump administration letters justifying Comey’s firing, which centered on his handling of the probe into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMeghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Trump defends indicted GOP congressman MORE’s use of a private email server.
When Cooper pointed out that Trump repeatedly used Comey’s judgment to impugn Clinton, Conway responded, “I think you’re looking at the wrong set of facts here."
Comey announced in March during a dramatic Senate hearing that his bureau was investigating whether Trump associates colluded with Russia to meddle in the presidential election. Comey said he made the revelation with the approval of the Justice Department.