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White House: Why Aren't Democrats Celebrating Comey Firing?

05-11-2017
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James Comey
James Comey

As Washington went into an uproar over President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, the president received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House.

The president answered reporters' questions about the #1 concern of the day: Why did he let Comey go?  

"He wasn't doing a good job. Very simply. He was not doing a good job," replied Trump.

Comey himself wrote a farewell letter to staff saying that he had long believed that a president can fire an FBI director for any reason and that he would not spend time dwelling on the decision.

But protestors showed up at the White House on Wednesday to oppose it and Democrats wasted no time going on the offensive.  

Tom Perez, the chair of the Democratic National Committee, challenged the president, telling reporters, "If Comey was so bad, he should have fired him January 20th."

The White House is pointing out that Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, have also called for Comey's removal.

"They didn't think he should be there," White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. "They thought he should be gone. Frankly, I think it's startling that Democrats aren't celebrating this since they have been calling for it for so long."

What may be most politically damaging to the White House are reports that Comey requested more resources from the Department of Justice for the investigation into Russian campaign meddling just days before the president fired him.  

The Justice Department, however, says stories that Comey had asked for more resources are "totally false." 

Most Republicans are supporting the president's action, but some expect more questions to come up.  

"Obviously, when the president fires the FBI director when there's an active investigation going on, questions need to be answered," Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., explained.

The White House maintains that Trump's decision was based on how Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton, but Democrats aren't buying it. They're pushing for a special prosecutor in the Russia probe - and they plan to ramp up the pressure on Republicans in the Senate to do so.

Vice President Mike Pence calls Comey's firing "the right decision at the right time" and told reporters he's confident that the president's new choice for FBI director will lead the agency back to credibility and restore the public's trust.

 

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