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White House: Comey committed 'atrocities' in Clinton investigation

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday said former FBI Director James Comey had committed "atrocities" in his handling of the investigation into presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison Monica Lewinsky signs production deal with 20th TV Police investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide MORE's private email server.

Sanders, speaking at the White House a day after President Trump fired Comey, said the FBI director had sidestepped protocol and circumvented the chain of command with his decisions. 

She said this was all articulated in a letter to the White House from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. 

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"I think also having a letter like the one he received and having that conversation that outlined the basic, just, atrocities, and circumventing the chain of command in the Department of Justice," Sanders said in explaining Trump's decision.

Rosenstein's letter argued that Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation last year was unprofessional and overstepped the boundaries of his job. 

"Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives," Rosenstein wrote. 

But it is unclear what Sanders meant by her accusation that he had committed "atrocities," and Comey has defended his actions in the Clinton investigation, arguing that he would not have handled the situation any differently.