| President Donald Trump this evening fired FBI Director James Comey, sweeping away the man who is responsible for an investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign team colluded with Russia in its interference in last year’s election. CNN’s Stephen Collinson, Jeff Zeleny, Jeremy Diamond and Eli Watkins have all the details.
How it happened: Longtime Trump aide Keith Schiller hand-delivered a letter to the FBI — but it’s not clear who he delivered it to. In the letter, Trump told Comey that he “greatly appreciate(s) you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” The White House said Attorney General Jeff Sessions (who has recused himself from the Russia investigation) and deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommended Comey’s firing, with Rosenstein releasing a letter that blasted Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
What now for the Russia investigation? Remember, Trump tweeted yesterday: “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”
Warning siren for the White House: Here’s what Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said: “I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee.”
For Democrats and Clinton allies, this is a weird feeling. On one hand, they absolutely detest Comey. On the other hand, the President just fired the man leading an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign allegedly on Trump’s behalf. Here’s Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook: