Former FBI Director James Comey reportedly requested more money and personnel for the bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election days before he was fired by President Trump.
Comey made the request during a meeting last week with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote the Justice Department memo used to justify Comey’s firing, The New York Times first reported Wednesday.
The FBI director then briefed members of Congress about the meeting, according to the Times. CNN, the Washington Post and the Associated Press have reported confirming Comey’s request for more resources, as have other media outlets.
The Justice Department’s top spokeswoman denied that Comey had requested more money or resources for the investigation. Sarah Isgur Flores called the reports “totally false.”
Trump on Tuesday fired Comey, the man who had been leading the politically charged investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The dismissal came in a letter from Trump to Comey that said it was time for a “new beginning” at the nation’s “crown jewel of law enforcement.”
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to lead the Bureau,” Trump wrote.
The move sent ripples across Washington, drawing outrage from Democrats, who accused Trump of attempting to shut down the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein recommended Comey’s dismissal, citing “substantial damage” to the FBI’s reputation and credibility under his leadership.
They cited Comey’s handling of the investigation into Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server that roiled the presidential election last year.
Trump took to Twitter early Wednesday to defend his decision to fire Comey, and he said late Wednesday morning during an Oval Office meeting with former Nixon national security adviser and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger that Comey “was not doing a good job.”