Former FBI director James Comey was reportedly baffled by President Donald Trump's accusation that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, had illegally wiretapped his 2016 campaign. Comey had reportedly told confidantes that Trump's behavior was "crazy."
On March 9, Trump abruptly fired Comey, citing that he no longer had confidence that the FBI director could effectively lead the bureau. While the White House officially stated that the decision was made following a recommendation from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Trump asserted that he was going to fire Comey regardless of counsel.
"[Comey]'s a showboat, he's a grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil," Trump told NBC News on May 11.
On May 10, sources within the FBI told The New York Times that Comey had a mutually negative opinion of the president following Trump's accusation that Obama had wiretapped him.
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On March 4, Trump ignited controversy by accusing his predecessor of ordering an illegal wiretap against his campaign during the 2016 presidential race.
"Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory," Trump tweeted out. "Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!"
Comey was disturbed by the accusation and had reportedly told confidantes that the president was "outside the realm of normal" and "crazy."
On March 20, Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee that neither his bureau nor the DOJ had any evidence to support Trump's wiretap accusation. During the same testimony, the former FBI director confirmed that there was an ongoing investigation into whether members of the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian intelligence to subvert the 2016 presidential race, USA Today reports.
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On May 10, 30 anonymous sources from the White House, FBI and the DOJ told The Washington Post that Trump was angry when Comey did not support his accusation against Obama and began weighing the decision to fire the FBI director after his March testimony.
On May 1, Trump signaled that he still believed that Obama had ordered a wiretap on his campaign during an interview with CBS News.
"Well, [Obama] was very nice to me," Trump said. "But after that, we've had some difficulties. ... [Y]ou saw what happened with surveillance."
When interviewer John Dickerson pressed Trump to elaborate, the president said: "I don't stand by anything. ... I think our side's been proven very strongly."
When Dickerson asked if Trump still stood by his accusation, the president abruptly ended the interview.