The White House says President Donald Trump did not prompt the Department of Justice review that led to the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey.
"There was no request by [Trump] to have a review at the Department of Justice," White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press on Wednesday when asked by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.
The comments come less than 24 hours after Trump fired Comey on Tuesday after a recommendation from the top two officials at the Department of Justice amid an active FBI investigation into whether Trump associates colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential election.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, told reporters earlier today that Trump told her he ordered the review. "When I talked to the president last night, he said: 'The department is a mess. I asked Rosenstein and Sessions to look into it. Rosenstein sent me a memo. I accepted the recommendation to fire him,'" Feinstein said.
Her spokesman Tom Mentzer later clarified that she was not trying to say Trump ordered the review. "The point she was making is that the president told her the FBI was a mess, that the DAG recommended firing Comey and he was going to do so," he said. "She was not trying to make the point that there was some directive. She doesn't have a transcript of the conversation and, frankly, I think like most people was taken aback by the news and was more focused on the why."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sent letters to Trump on Tuesday expressing concern over the way Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.
Sanders also said that the White House doesn't think a special prosecutor is necessary for the Russia investigation, adding that she wants the investigation to "come to completion."
"Let's put it behind us. Let's move on," she said.
Sanders added: "The president had lost confidence in Comey from the day he was elected. Any investigation that was happening on Monday is still happening today."