The political world was just turned upside down
In what may be the most dramatic moment yet in Donald Trump’s presidency, the entire political world was caught off guard when it was abruptly announced on Tuesday that Trump had fired embattled FBI Director James Comey. The news was first shared by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and then confirmed by the White House in a statement.
“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 most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” said President Trump.
“A new search for a permanent FBI director will begin immediately.”
It had been a wild 24 hours for Comey, who told Congress on Monday that former Hillary Clinton adviser Huma Abedin had indirectly been responsible for the leak of several hundred emails when she transferred them to her husband Anthony Weiner’s private company.
That claim was almost immediately challenged and on Tuesday the FBI was forced to withdrawal Comey’s claim just minutes before he was officially fired.
The White House later confirmed that Comey was in fact fired for his handling of the Clinton email investigation. In a letter from Trump to Comey, the president opened with a compliment of himself before telling the director he was no longer in charge of the FBI:
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Trump wrote in the letter. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
Comey, a lifelong Republican, was appointed to the position by President Obama and had previously won bipartisan accolades before falling under intense criticism in the days leading up to the 2016 election, when he revealed that Hillary Clinton was under investigation for the leaking of classified emails. It was later revealed that Trump was also under investigation, something Comey chose to not publicly disclose at the time.