Trump fired FBI Director James Comey so abruptly that Comey learned he was sacked just like everyone else – from the media. The White House decided to show the FBI chief the door in the midst of a major congressional investigation into Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
History Repeats Itself
Although the move is strikingly similar to Richard Nixon’s firing of the special prosecutor appointed to look into the Watergate scandal, the Trump administration said they showed Comey the pink slip because of his incompetence in handling the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The DOJ had leaked information that Comey had given false information to Congress over a number of classified emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
The announcement about Comey’s termination was a complete shock not only to Comey but the entire nation as well. The FBI director was probing the alleged ties between Trump’s aides and the Russian government at the time of his dismissal. So, calls for a special prosecutor have multiplied overnight.
Reportedly, Comey found he’s no longer FBI director from television. The announcement was so abrupt that he initially thought it was a joke. People familiar with the matter told the New York Times that they saw Comey instructing a group of FBI agents at the time a TV set in the background flashed the news that Trump had fired him.
Comey Thought It Was a Joke
Comey reportedly laughed at the news thinking it was a prank, but when several special agents entered the room and asked him to join him in a side office, he knew something was wrong. He shook hands with the employees he was addressing and left the room for the agents to break the news to him.
It is still unclear how the media learned about the ouster faster than the man that was being fired. The White House wouldn’t comment on it. In a public statement, they said that the FBI cannot regain public trust until they are led by a person who “understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”
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