The search for a new FBI Director is underway amidst the outpouring of backlash and criticism of President Trump’ decision to fire former director Comey. The candidates are Acting director Andrew McCabe, Frank Keating, Richard McFeely, and Joe Lieberman.
Trump spent much of the day giving the commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Commencement Ceremony in New London, Connecticut. Although comments regarding the Comey backlash were embedded quite conspicuously throughout his oration, the bulk of the speech was focused on praising and congratulating the recent graduates for their continued dedication to protecting the American public. Trump revered the Coast Guard as “great sailors of the world” who are “truly vital to our great country”.
He then bridged his speech to defend the allegations against his integrity and intentions as President, saying he wanted to give advice for when “things are not always fair”. Trump adamantly proclaimed the power of perseverance amidst criticism and opposition.
“No politician in history […] has been treated worse or more unfairly”, Trump said, presumably in reference to the mass media attention the Comey firing has received.
He then went on to outline the “tremendous amount” he has accomplished since being elected President. An outpouring of jobs, military improvements, and expanded services for veterans were the first things on his list. He then discussed the lifting of environmental protection laws and regulations, praising how this will improve the economy and increase jobs.
He ended this exposition of appraisal by saying: “I didn’t get elected to serve the Washington media or special interests”. Trump claimed that “the people understand what I’m doing”, a statement that much of the public (both Democratic and Republican), may not fully agree with. He then went on to outline his plans for his first trip abroad as President.
On the air force one flight, press secretary Sean Spicer didn’t relay much new information, other than reiterate that the president believes that the published account “is not an accurate description of how the event occurred”. Remaining fairly reserved with his responses, Spicer mainly just emphasized statements already made by Trump and other government bodies.
Spicer also said that “The president will continue to meet with candidates for FBI director.” The candidates are Acting director Andrew McCabe, Frank Keating, Richard McFeely, and Joe Lieberman, and Trump met with them earlier this afternoon.
When repeatedly questioned about whether Trump and his team had any other backing for claiming that the account provided was inaccurate other than Trump’s word, Spicer continuously said that there’d already been statements put forth. He repeatedly said “we’ve been clear about that”, but didn’t directly address questions regarding whether such statements were solely corroborations or had proof-backing.
Later the same evening, the White House published the following statement from Trump after Robert Mueller was appointed the special counsel for the Russia probe:
“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”