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Robert Mueller’s investigators want to know what Sean Spicer knew when he said President Donald Trump had confidence in James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired just days after Spicer made the remarks in the White House press briefing room, the Associated Press reports.
Mueller’s team is asking for White House documents connected to the May 3 briefing during which Spicer said “the president has confidence in the director,” in response to questions about Comey.
Reporters were scrambling to get clarity about Trump’s position on Comey after Trump said the day before that the FBI director had given Hillary Clinton a “free pass” in the investigation of her use of a private email server. Mueller’s team wants to know whether Spicer knew of Trump’s plan to fire Comey, which happened days later, on May 9.
Spicer’s possible knowledge of discussions within the White House came into clearer focus Thursday when it was reported that he had taken copious notes during his time in the Trump administration.
The White House’s official statement said Comey was fired because of his handling of the Clinton email investigation, but Trump would later say he had the Russia investigation in mind when he made his decision. Trump also said firing Comey had taken “great pressure” off of him in the Russia investigation.
Mueller was named special counsel to oversee the Russia inquiry on May 17, and the investigation has grown exponentially since then.