Deputy AG asked White House to correct record on Comey: report

Deputy AG asked White House to correct record on Comey: report
© Greg Nash

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asked that the White House correct the record about his role in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, according to a new report.

Rosenstein objected to Trump administration aides citing his criticism of Comey’s performance to justify the sacking, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, and called White House counsel Don McGahn about it.

He left the impression he could not work in a place where facts were not accurately reported, a person familiar with the conversation told the Journal.

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A key source of Rosenstein’s stress was purportedly White House aides reiterating that Comey’s firing was in response to a Justice Department recommendation.

The White House announced Tuesday that President Trump had fired Comey on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump poised to roll back transgender health protections Trump claims Mueller didn't speak to those 'closest' to him And the winner of the Robert Mueller Sweepstakes is — Vladimir Putin MORE and Rosenstein.

The Trump administration circulated Rosenstein’s assessment of Comey that evening while justifying the president’s decision.

Rosenstein’s memo said that “the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage” since 2016.

The memo criticized Comey’s handling of the FBI’s probe into the private email server Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDavis: The shocking fact that Mueller never would have accused Trump of a crime Trump says he would challenge impeachment in Supreme Court The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? MORE used as secretary of State.

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, has repeatedly cited Comey as a factor in her loss to Trump last November.

Rosenstein reportedly threatened to quit after the White House cast his recommendation as the sole reason for Comey’s firing.

President Trump on Thursday in an interview with NBC's Lester Holt said he was going to fire Comey regardless of what the Justice Department recommended.

Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior told the Journal Thursday that reports Rosenstein vowed to quit are untrue without commenting further. 

Comey’s firing comes amid the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 race, including possible ties between Moscow and Trump’s campaign.