Veteran CBS journalist Bob Schieffer on Friday accused President Trump of setting his White House staff up for failure in their attempts to explain FBI Director James Comey's firing.
"Sending these people out to explain the inexplicable is not going to help," Schieffer said on CBS's "This Morning."
"He's making fools of his own staff. The White House appears to be in chaos. It is the original amateur hour, as we look at it from the outside."
White House officials have issued a flurry of statements — some contradictory — since Comey was fired on Tuesday.
The decision was originally cast by the White House as one made at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein. But Trump contradicted that narrative himself in an interview aired Thursday with NBC's Lester Holt.
"I was going to fire regardless of the recommendation," Trump said. "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey."
Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted Thursday that the White House's account of the firing had been consistent, despite a number of discrepancies that have arisen. On Wednesday, for example, Sanders said that Comey had lost the confidence of the FBI's employees.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Thursday told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Comey had remained well-liked within the FBI.
The decision to fire Comey has sparked a wave of confusion and controversy in Washington and has been widely condemned by Democrats, who have voiced concern that Trump ousted Comey in an effort to tamp town the FBI's investigation into possible ties between members of Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
In his interview with Holt, Trump denied allegations of collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin but acknowledged that he thought of the FBI's investigation when he made the decision to fire Comey.