Trump on Comey’s firing: There’s ‘no right time to do it’
(CNN) — President Donald Trump defended the timing of his firing of FBI Director James Comey in an interview Saturday night on Fox News, saying, “There’s really no right time to do it.”
“Let’s say I did it on January 20, the opening, right? Then that would have been the big story as opposed to the inauguration,” Trump said. “I was thinking about it then.”
Trump also called the Democrats “hypocrites” for their outrage at Comey’s dismissal, saying they themselves were upset with Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
In the wide-ranging interview airing in full Saturday night on Fox News, the President also discussed his dissatisfaction with the media and suggested a second time that he might cancel the daily White House briefings in favor of biweekly press conferences.
“We don’t have press conferences,” Trump said. “We just don’t have them. Unless I have them every two weeks and do it myself, we don’t have them.”
“You have a level of hostility that’s incredible, and it’s very unfair,” he added, referring to the media.
Trump also tweeted Friday morning that “maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future ‘press briefings’ and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy,” a remark he made after contradicting his press aides and other surrogates on his reasons for firing FBI Director James Comey earlier in the week.
At Friday afternoon’s briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer did not rule out the possibility of their cancellation.
In the Fox interview, Trump also denied reports that he had asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to him at a private dinner shortly after Trump was sworn in.
Pressed by Pirro on whether he asked Comey for his loyalty, Trump responded: “No, I didn’t, but I don’t think it would be a bad question to ask. I think loyalty to the country, loyalty to the US, is important. You know, it depends on how you define loyalty, No. 1; No. 2, I don’t know how it got out there because I didn’t ask that question.”
The interview on Fox comes after a week of intense scrutiny of Trump following his unexpected firing of Comey. Prior to delivering a commencement address at Liberty University on Saturday morning, the President remained largely out of the public eye.