Although folks may wonder if President Trump still has the capacity to shock the world, he came through on Tuesday afternoon yet again. He has chosen to terminate FBI Director James Comey, who’s already not having a fantastic week after revelations over his “misstated” facts about Hillary Clinton’s emails, which he made while testifying about why he reopened the probe a few weeks before the presidential election.
The timing of this termination, of course, arrives in the middle of the ongoing investigation into Russia-Trump ties by both the FBI and Congress, which is a source of chronic Trump irritation. In addition, Comey likely ruffled feathers by admitting that he feels “mildly nauseous” over the possibility of helping get Trump elected. Here’s the statement from the White House:
Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” said President Trump.
There’s no known replacement for Comey (who also upset Trump by shutting down those wiretapping accusations) as of yet, although the statement notes that the search will begin immediately. The news was followed up by a rather harsh letter (below) from the president to Comey, in which he states that he appreciates being told, “on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” Yet Trump still feels that Comey is “not able to effectively lead the bureau” (partially) because Jeff Sessions said so, and Rosenstein “cannot defend” Comey’s conclusions about Clinton’s emails. Ouch.
Also, Fox News (which Trump says treats him fairly) erroneously reported that Comey resigned instead of being fired.