President Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey on Tuesday, at the recommendation of senior Justice Department officials, who said he had treated Hillary Clinton unfairly and in doing so damaged the credibility of the FBI and the Justice Department.
The startling development comes as Comey was leading a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether associates of Trump may have coordinated with Russia to interfere with the US presidential election last year. It wasn’t immediately clear how Comey’s ouster will affect the Russia probe, but Democrats said they were concerned that his ouster could derail the investigation.
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in the White House briefing room. The firing is effective “immediately,” he said. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Comey’s deputy, Andrew McCabe, would be the acting director of the FBI.