"We consider it to be a highly significant investigation", he said instead.
When a reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer who told Rosenstein to consider whether Comey should remain as Federal Bureau of Investigation director on Wednesday, Spicer responded, "No one from the White House".
McCabe tells a Senate panel that he would not describe the investigation that way.
In an interview with NBC's Lester Holt published Thursday, we learned more about those three occasions. McCabe says he can't discuss that in a public setting.
But in a different committee meeting Thursday, Republican Sen.
"We felt that there was a great need to set up a process for deconfliction, so when we had witnesses we needed to talk to, we made sure we weren't stepping on top of [the active investigation]", Burr said.
Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon to fire a law enforcement official overseeing an investigation with ties to the White House.
That explanation left unanswered questions for a number of GOP senators.
There are three separate but parallel inquiries into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which the United States government concluded was created to boost Mr Trump's candidacy. Congressional probes typically seek to avoid interfering with any Justice Department investigations that cover the same ground.
"After watching Director Comey's testimony last Wednesday [at Capitol Hill], the President was strongly inclined to remove him".
"The dismissal of Director Comey establishes a very troubling pattern", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday morning. "I listened to the president's tapes".style="text-align: center;"
Trump warns 'showboat' Comey against leaks to media
Trump fumed over Comey's choice to investigate Russian Federation but not the leaks to journalists.
"The president had lost confidence in Director Comey".
Garland never got a hearing due to Republican obstruction, and the high court vacancy was filled last month by Neil Gorsuch. It came as such a shock to the director as he discovered he was out of a job via breaking reports on TV news when speaking to personnel at the FBI's Los Angeles office. The White House also remained vague in giving the exact reason behind the vital decision.
McConnell also said that he opposed an independent investigation, arguing that it would delay and impair the Senate Intelligence committee's own ongoing Russian Federation investigation.
What was his role in the Comey firing?
As commentators on cable TV called Trump's move an abuse of power, the president was startled and infuriated by how his action was being received, according to a person with knowledge of his reaction.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had pondered dumping Comey as soon as he took office on January 20, but made a decision to stick with him.
"Frankly, he'd been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. But he later said it wouldn't be standard practice to tell someone they weren't the target of a probe and he promised not to do so for the White House. "Any investigation that was taking place on Monday is still taking place today", she said.
He said he does not plan to dwell on the decision to fire him or the "way it was executed". The Post says that President Trump initiated a meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein - not the other way around. He griped about Comey for several days, including in late-night calls from the White House residence.
The statement suggests that Trump's provocative comment last July is being seen by the FBI as relevant to its own ongoing investigation.