The White House further defended President Trump's decision to fired FBI Director James B. Comey, saying he did it despite the political peril it created for himself because it was the "right thing for the American people."
White House press secretary Sean Spicer described it as a selfless act.
"The actions that he took he knew could be detrimental unto himself," he said. "But none of those things mattered because the president had to do the right thing for the American people, because he believes Jim Comey is the wrong man for that position."
Mr. Spicer said Mr. Trump made the case himself in a recent NBC News interview. He noted the president said he fired Mr. Comey despite knowing it would cause him trouble and would potentially lengthen the FBI's probe into Trump campaign ties to Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.
"He didn't care that this action would make matters worse for him. That 'might have lengthened out the investigation' because he would take action against Jim Comey," Mr. Spicer said. "He said he wants the investigation to be done 'absolutely properly.' And he said it might even confuse some people that he would take this action."
The ousting of Mr. Comey ignited a political firestorm in Washington, reviving calls for a special prosecutor for the Russia probe.
Democrats, who previously wanted Mr. Comey removed from office because of his treatment of Hillary Clinton during the presidential race, accused Mr. Trump of firing him because the Russian probe was getting too close for comfort.