In the immediate aftermath of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as the director of the FBI, the White House signaled that a review of Comey started with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which reportedly frustrated Rosenstein.
When he realized that the White House was trying to pin Comey’s departure on him, Rosenstein threatened to quit, the Washington Post reported Wednesday night, citing an unnamed “person close to the White House.”
On Thursday morning ABC News’ Jonathan Karl also reported that Rosenstein considered quitting over the White House’s initial narrative surrounding Comey’s firing.
I am told Rod Rosenstein was so upset w/ the White House for pinning the Comey firing on him yesterday that he was on the verge of resigning
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) May 11, 2017
Reports suggest that Trump had been considering firing Comey for at least a week and that the President had been growing increasingly angry over Comey’s actions. Per the Washington Post:
Trump was angry that Comey would not support his baseless claim that President Barack Obama had his campaign offices wiretapped. Trump was frustrated when Comey revealed in Senate testimony the breadth of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s effort to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And he fumed that Comey was giving too much attention to the Russia probe and not enough to investigating leaks to journalists.
Trump was also unhappy with the attention Comey received in the media, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trump “viewed Mr. Comey as eager to step in front of TV cameras and questioned whether his expanding media profile was warping his view of the Russia investigation,” the Journal reported.