White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that nothing had changed about Trump’s confidence in FBI Director James Comey, despite reports that Comey asked the Justice Department to refute Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that former President Obama had ordered that Trump be surveilled.
“There’s nothing that I have been told by him that would lead me to believe that anything is different than it was prior,” Spicer said, responding to one reporter who asked if Trump still had confidence in the FBI director.
Seemingly referring to reports that Comey directed the Justice Department to dispute Trump’s claims, Spicer said “I’m not aware that that occurred” and “I’m not aware that that actually happened.”
“To the best of my knowledge, I’m almost 100 percent certain that he has not” spoken with Comey about the allegations of wiretapping, Spicer said, referring to Trump.
Other members of the Trump administration have pointed out that neither Comey’s FBI nor the Justice department have publicly refuted Trump’s claim. Rather, the New York Times first reported, citing unnamed senior American officials, that Comey had made the request that Trump’s claim be called false. The Justice Department has not released any such statement.
Asked why the White House had not simply asked intelligence officials directly for evidence of wiretapping – instead, they have asked the congressional intelligence committees to investigate the claim – Spicer said “we’re trying to do this in the proper way.”
“The President directing the Department of Justice to do something with respect to an investigation that may or may not occur with evidence may be seen as trying to interfere,” he said. “And I think that we’re trying to do this in the proper way.”