Former FBI Director James Comey was fired Tuesday, in part, because he would not publicly state that there were no links between the Trump administration and Russia, according to a source inside the White House.
A person with knowledge of conversations about Comey’s dismissal told The Wall Street Journal that there was growing frustration among President Donald Trump’s associates that the former FBI director would not tamp down questions about the president’s alleged connection to Russia.
He refused to “say those three little words: ‘There’s no ties,’” the source told WSJ about Trump’s decision to fire Comey without any forewarning. Comey was appointed in 2013 and had not yet served 6 years of what should have been a 10-year term.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau,” the president wrote in a letter to Comey notifying him of his dismissal. “It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
A White House source also said Trump was upset about what he viewed as the former director’s willingness to jump in front of cameras and questioned whether Comey could be independent while keeping such a high media profile. Another White House aide described the former FBI director as a show horse.
“Oh, and there’s James — he’s become more famous than me,” Trump said to Comey during a January reception for law enforcement.
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