Trump says he showed 'good instincts' by firing Comey before he had found any wrongdoing
REUTERS/Carlos Barria, Jonathan Ernst/File Photos
- President Donald Trump on Friday said he showed "good instincts" by firing former FBI Director James Comey.
- Trump spoke after a bombshell report said Comey showed bad judgment by reopening Hillary Clinton's case a month before the election.
- At the time, Trump praised the move.
- Trump also slammed FBI agents who exchanged anti-Trump texts, which were revealed in the Inspector General report.
- While Comey showed bad judgment, according to the report, he probably helped Trump win the election.
President Donald Trump on Friday said he showed "good instincts" by firing former FBI Director James Comey after a bombshell report said he showed bad judgment by reopening Hillary Clinton's case a month before the election.
President Donald Trump on Friday also slammed FBI agents who were found to have exchanged anti-Trump texts in part of an intimate relationship, which was also revealed in the report, published by the Inspector General yesterday.
Trump has frequently criticized Comey, whom he fired in May 2017 during an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russia. Comey has emerged as a vocal critic of Trump and a proponent of what he calls ethical leadership.
But Trump found new ammunition to resume his attacks after the IG report found Comey made a "serious error of judgment" by announcing that he was reopening an investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server a month before the 2016 election.
"The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI. Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts. Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back!" Trump tweeted.
But while the IG report says Comey showed bad judgment in relitigating Clinton's case so close to the election, that move likely helped Trump win. It also falls short of establishing the anti-Trump political bias at the top of the FBI that he says exists.
"We'll stop it"
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
The same IG report contained a text exchange between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two FBI staff members who exchanged politically charged message during the election.
One particular exchange between Strzok and Page grabbed headlines immediately, and possibly cast doubt over the impartiality of the FBI.
In August 2016, Page wrote to Strzok asking "(Trump's) not ever going to become president, right? Right!"
Strzok replied: "No. No he's not. We'll stop it."
This text could likely vindicate Trump who often derides investigations into his business as a politically motivated witch hunt.
"The report does identify errors of judgment, violations of, or even disregard for policy and decisions that at the very least, with the benefit of hindsight, were not the best choices," FBI Director Christopher Wray said of the report. "We need to hold ourselves accountable."
I respect the DOJ IG office, which is why I urged them to do this review. The conclusions are reasonable, even though I disagree with some. People of good faith can see an unprecedented situation differently. I pray no Director faces it again. Thanks to IG's people for hard work.- James Comey (@Comey) June 14, 2018