Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
said the firing of FBI Director James Comey “is a tremendous loss for the FBI and the nation,” in a statement on CNN Tuesday.
“I have immense respect and admiration for Jim Comey,” Clapper added.
Clapper testified Monday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about President Trump’s reported ties to Russia, along with former US Attorney General Sally Yates.
James Comey was fired as Director of the FBI on Tuesday afternoon.
In a letter sent to Comey, Trump said he accepted the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. His termination is effective immediately.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” Trump wrote. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
Rosenstein, in his letter to Sessions, pointed to Comey’s July 2016 public announcement of his recommendation regarding the investigation into then-presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state. The deputy attorney general said Comey was “wrong to usurp the attorney general’s authority” by going public with the FBI’s recommendation to not bring charges forth against Clinton for her use of the server.
Comey had been leading the FBI’s investigation of Trump campaign officials’ possible connections to Russia.
Clapper resigned from his position as director of national intelligence at the end of Barack Obama’s second term.
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