DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (AP) — President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, saying it was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the nation’s top law enforcement agency following several tumultuous months.
“The FBI is one of our nation’s most cherished and respected institutions, and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” Trump said in a statement.
Read more: Trump’s letter to FBI Director James Comey.
The White House said the search for a new FBI director was beginning immediately.
The White House made the stunning announcement shortly after the FBI corrected a sentence in Comey’s sworn testimony on Capitol Hill last week. Comey told lawmakers that Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, had sent “hundreds and thousands” of emails to her husband’s laptop, including some with classified information.
On Tuesday, the FBI said in a two-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that only “a small number” of the thousands of emails found on the laptop had been forwarded there while most had simply been backed up from electronic devices.
Most of the email chains on the laptop containing classified information were not the result of forwarding, the FBI said.
Comey, 56, was nominated by President Barack Obama for the FBI post in 2013 to a 10-year term. Praised for his independence and integrity, Comey has spent three decades in law enforcement and has been no stranger to controversy.
The following is the complete text of a statement provided to media by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
May 09, 2017
Statement from the Press Secretary
Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office.
President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The FBI is one of our Nation’s most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement,” said President Trump.
A search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin immediately.
Written by The Associated Press with additional information provided by The White House, Office of the Press Secretary.
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