Trump calls Comey a ‘showboat’ and ‘grand stander’
WASHINGTON — Americans’ heads are spinning more than ever, regarding the ouster of FBI Director James Comey.
In an exclusive interview with Lester Holt on Thursday, President Donald Trump calls Comey a “showboat” and a “grand stander.”
The president feels the FBI has been in turmoil for over a year. Yet, during the election, Trump was praising the FBI and Comey for their “courage” in re-opening the Clinton email investigation.
Trump says he knew he was going to fire Comey, which directly contradicts the White House’s previous statements.
On Wednesday, Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Vice President Mike Pence said Trump made his decision based on the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
According White House officials, the FBI had lost confidence in the director. They said the mishandling of the Clinton email investigation was the last straw.
“Jim Comey had lost the confidence of the people at the FBI.” White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway said.
Sanders said, “I’ve heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president’s decision.”
Yet conflicting statements were made by acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday morning.
When asked if it was accurate to say the FBI rank no longer supported the director, he responded, “no sir, that is not accurate”.
“I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard,” McCabe said.
In a tweet, President Donald Trump calls democrats “phony hypocrites” for being angry about him firing a man they once criticized.
Many Democrats are saying it is the timing of the firing which concerns them since Comey was investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia.
Trump is claiming Comey personally told him otherwise.
“I said if it is at all possible, will you let me know if I am under investigation? He said you are not under investigation,” Trump said.
The president said the firing happened “once at dinner and then…twice during phone calls.”
But critics say it would be highly unusual and a conflict of interest for an FBI director to do so.
“I don’t see that as a conflict of interest and neither do the many legal scholars who have been commenting on it” Sanders said.
The FBI is assuring the American people, Comey’s firing will not hinder their investigations into Russia.
“You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the constitution,” McCabe said.
As for Comey, in a letter to the FBI he says:
“I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.”