President Donald Trump is well known for putting nicknames on public figures, but word he tagged on former FBI Director James Comey this week is one that’s got to sting.
In an interview NBC News’ Lester Holt on Thursday, Trump called Comey a “showboat” for his involvement in the political field while serving as the head of a major federal agency.
In that NBC News interview, Trump noted he would have fired Comey “regardless of recommendation” from the Justice Department.
“He’s a showboat, he’s a grand-stander, the FBI has been in turmoil,” Trump said. “You know that, I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil. Less than a year ago, it hasn’t recovered from that.”
By any standard, Comey’s had a tumultuous run.
He came under fire from both Republican and Democrat lawmakers who questioned Comey’s involvement in the political sphere, particularly during the 2016 presidential election.
The former FBI Director spearheaded a massive investigation in former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, at the end of which he infuriated conservatives when he publicly announced his recommendations that no charges be filed in the case.
He then infuriated Democrats when, a week before the election, he announced the email investigation had been re-opened.
Comey also openly discussed the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the election, but refused to confirm or deny rumors of an investigation into anti-Trump leaks.
All of that has fueled suspicions that Comey’s actions were influenced by politics — and hurt the FBI’s reputation, Trump said.
Trump told Holt that the country must be reunited by a new FBI leader. “I just want somebody that’s competent,” Trump said. “I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI.”
Watch the clip below:
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Trump wrote. “I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.”
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