White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that President Donald Trump had considered firing now former FBI Director James Comey since he was elected in November.
Democratic lawmakers have been critical of Trump's decision on Tuesday to fire Comey, despite some of them calling for his termination late last year. Critics have charged that Comey was fired to hinder the FBI's ongoing investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Proponents of the investigation have said there is currently no proof showing collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials.
During Wednesday's White House press briefing, Sanders clarified that Trump had been thinking about firing Comey during his time as president-elect and in the first few months of his presidency.
The Trump administration has said Comey was fired because Trump lost confidence in the FBI director, in large part over what officials have called his mismanagement of the Hillary Clinton email scandal.
"The president had lost, again like I said, he'd lost confidence in Director Comey and frankly he had been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected," Sanders said.
Sanders also said that Trump had consulted with many officials before making his decision.
MSNBC's Hallie Jackson asked Sanders about Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) saying that Trump told her he had asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to review the matter of Comey's continued employment at the FBI. Sanders said that Trump had asked for any recommendation in writing, but restated that the president had lost confidence in Comey a long time ago.