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Kellyanne Conway defends Comey firing in tense Anderson Cooper interview: 'This is not a coverup!
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Kellyanne Conway defends Comey firing in tense Anderson Cooper interview: 'This is not a coverup!

Kellyanne Conway emerged Tuesday night to speak with CNN's Anderson Cooper about President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, and decried claims that the president ousted Comey for reasons different from that which the president outlined in his letter firing the former FBI Director.

After Cooper asked why Trump decided to fire Comey at this stage of the game, he told Conway that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the Comey firing a "coverup."

"Why was [Jeff Sessions] involved in this decision—why somebody who's recused himself of having anything to do with the Russian investigation—involved in the decision to fire the guy who's heading the Russian investigation? Does that look odd to you?" Cooper asked point-blank.

Conway responded, "The FBI Director reports to the Deputy Attorney General; the Deputy Attorney General reports to the Attorney General; the Attorney General reports to the President of the United States. This had nothing to do with Russia, as much as somebody must be getting $50 every time the word is said, I'm convinced, on TV."

"This has nothing to do with Russia," she insisted, "[it] has everything to do with whether the current FBI Director has the president's confidence and can faithfully and capably execute his duties. The Deputy Attorney General decided that was not the case. He wrote a very long memorandum about it, he presented that to the Attorney General, the Attorney General presented it to the president. The president took the recommendations, as he says in his brief, very powerful letter today. He took their recommendations and he agreed that the only way to restore confidence and trust—public trust and confidence—in its vital ... law enforcement mission that the FBI was to have a new director."

Conway responded, “He’s wrong, it’s not a coverup. In fact, the president makes very clear in his letter the fact that Mr. Comey on at least three occasions assured him he is not under investigation.”

When Cooper pressed Conway as to when Comey told Trump that he was not under investigation for purported Russian ties, Conway said, "That's between the President of the United States and Director Comey."

See the rest of the extremely tense interview below.

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