Ex-FBI chief thought his dismissal was ‘prank’ when news broke on TV: NYT


NEW YORK, May 10 (APP): James Comey learned about his firing as Director

of the FBI through a news report on television while he was giving a speech and thought it was a joke, according to The New York Times.
Comey was addressing his FBI team in Los Angeles on Tuesday when he saw
the news on televisions in the room. He laughed after he saw the news, but he “stepped into a side office, where he confirmed that he had been fired.”
“No one should find out via the television that they’ve been fired. If
true, that’s poor form and plain unprofessional,” Congressman Curbelo, a Republican from Florida, said in a tweet.
President Donald Trump fired Comey, amid probes of potential contacts
between his presidential campaign and Russian officials prior to the 2016 election.
In a letter to Comey, the US president said, “It is essential that we
find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
The Times said that Trump’s move provoked backlash from several
lawmakers, who questioned the timing of Comey’s removal as the FBI is investigating Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, including any possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
“Any attempt to stop or undermine this FBI investigation would raise
grave constitutional issues,” Senator Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said.
Comey “Should be immediately called to testify in an open hearing
about the status of Russia-Trump investigation at the time he was fired,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a post on Twitter.
Also, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said
this could make Americans suspect a cover-up.
Even many Republicans criticized Trump for making a rash decision,
arguing it could have deep implications for their party.
“I’ve spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable
rationale for the timing of Comey’s firing,” Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said on Twitter. “I just can’t do it.”
Also, Congressman Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, said that he
supports an independent commission to investigate the possible Russia’s role in the election.