WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — Amid the clamor surrounding the firing of FBI Director James Comey, President Donald Trump singled out another Washington fixture for his scorn.
The president went to his Twitter account late Tuesday to chide Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a fellow New Yorker, for comments the Democrat made about the stunning dismissal.
Trump had telephoned Schumer earlier to inform him of the decision. Schumer said he told Trump that “you are making a big mistake.” Schumer also questioned why the firing occurred on Tuesday and wondered whether investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia were “getting too close for the president.” He said unless a special prosecutor is named, Americans could rightfully wonder whether the move was “part of a cover-up.”
Trump fired back with a tweet exclaiming: “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer stated recently, ‘I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.’ Then acts so indignant.”
President Trump’s stunning firing of Comey throws into question the future of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia. It immediately raised suspicions of an underhanded effort to stymie a probe that has shadowed the administration from the outset.
Democrats likened the firing to President Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre” and renewed calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor, and some Republicans also questioned the move.
In his letter to Comey, Trump said the firing was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the FBI. The administration paired the letter with a scathing review by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of how Comey handled the investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices, including his decision to hold a news conference announcing its findings and releasing “derogatory information” about Clinton.
Comey was speaking to agents at the FBI’s field office in Los Angeles when the news of his firing broke.
That’s according to a law enforcement official who was present at the time Tuesday. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
The official says television screens in the field office began flashing the news and Comey initially chuckled. He then finished his speech before leaving.
(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)