WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says ousted FBI Director James Comey “was not doing a good job.” It was Trump’s first public remarks about his firing Tuesday of the FBI chief.
Trump briefly spoke to reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday after a closed meeting with Russia’s foreign minister. His remarks come as the White House is defending the decision to dismiss Comey. Administration officials have said the firing was not related to the investigation into possible contacts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
Trump was joined by Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and national security adviser under President Richard Nixon.
Earlier in the day, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said there’s no need for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign in the wake of the firing of the FBI director.
GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina says his committee has the jurisdiction and responsibility to continue its Russia investigation and “we are going to do that.”
However Burr reiterated questions about President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. “The timing of this and the reasoning for it doesn’t make sense to me.”
And, Burr said that the firing “made our task a little more difficult but it didn’t make it impossible so we’ll continue.”
Burr said he spoke to Trump but wouldn’t detail the exchange. He said they didn’t discuss his committee’s investigation
Vice President Mike Pence is defending the firing, saying the “president made the right decision at the right time.” He said Comey’s firing was not related to the investigation into possible contacts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.
Pence says the administration is now looking forward to finding someone to lead the law enforcement agency.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is asking that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy appear before the Senate to answer questions about the circumstances surrounding the president’s decision.
The New York Democrat said Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should discuss why Sessions participated in the decision to fire Comey despite recusing himself and whether Rosenstein acted on his own when recommending Comey’s dismissal or whether he was ordered to do so by the White House.
Schumer also repeated his call for a special counsel to investigate ties between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
He also said the administration should answer why the president didn’t wait until the Justice Department’s inspector general issued a report on Comey’s much-criticized actions regarding the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
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