00:59 - Source: CNN
Rep. Schiff: Nobody buys Trump's explanation

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Rep. Adam Schiff said he believes that Comey's firing was "all about the Russia investigation"

Schiff: "Shifting" stories by Trump administration on reasons for firing enhance the need for thorough investigation

CNN —  

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said President Donald Trump hasn’t made any effort to impede the investigation into possible ties between his campaign and Russia – but a top House Democrat disagrees.

“I don’t think you can say so categorically he’s made no effort to interfere,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in an interview with CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” Thursday night.

“I think that the firing was all about the Russia investigation,” he continued. “So I’m certain that what Mr. McCabe said may be true in the sense that the President isn’t calling line agents who are working on the investigation or, in other very ham-handed ways, trying to interfere with the day-to-day operation of the investigation.”

“But nonetheless, he fired the top cop on that investigation, and I think no one believes this was about Hillary Clinton’s emails, I think it was all about the Russia case,” Schiff said.

Trump told NBC on Thursday that he wanted the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling to be “absolutely done properly,” and said Comey’s firing might “lengthen out the investigation.” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested earlier that it could hasten the agency’s investigation.

“We want this to come to its conclusion, we want it to come to its conclusion with integrity,” she said, referring to the FBI’s probe into Moscow’s interference in last year’s election. “And we think that we’ve actually, by removing Director Comey, taken steps to make that happen.”

Schiff was also skeptical Thursday about Trump’s statement that he fired Comey because the FBI was in turmoil and that Comey was a “showboat” and “grandstander.”

“I don’t think anyone finds that credible, and certainly not after getting a completely different explanation yesterday or the day before,” Schiff said, adding that the “shifting” stories by the Trump administration enhance the need for Congress to do a thorough investigation and ensure the FBI has the independence and resources it needs for its investigations.

“I do think we need to learn more about the circumstances that led to the director’s firing,” Schiff said, adding that many of Trump’s actions as President “have been really quite inexplicable.”

CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.