Breaking News Emails
President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning stood by his surprise decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, while accusing Democrats of appearing to "play so sad" over his abrupt ouster.
Trump, in a series of tweets, mocked the Democrats for saying "some of the worst things" about Comey, who was thrust into the national spotlight while the FBI was investigating Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
Trump added that now the Democrats "play so sad!"
Taking a further jab at Comey, Trump also retweeted the politically conservative Drudge Report, which linked to a story from a news aggregation site that listed "10 major FBI scandals on Comey's watch."
Before the election, Trump himself criticized Comey for ultimately deciding not to bring any charges against Clinton. But then in October, he changed his tune, praising Comey during a Michigan campaign rally for having the "guts" to tell Congress that the FBI was re-opening the probe after discovering Clinton's emails on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner.
Comey first took the helm of the FBI in September 2013 under President Barack Obama.
After Trump won, he kept Comey on — even as Comey led the politically-charged investigation into possible links between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.
But the president on Tuesday afternoon swiftly canned Comey after senior Justice Department officials concluded that he'd mishandled the investigation of Clinton.
Breaking News Emails
Trump, however, later clarified during a brief meeting with NBC News in the Oval Office that his decision to fire Comey wasn’t about the Russia probe. Trump said that he had prior concerns about Comey — but it was his inaccurate Senate testimony last week in which he overstated to Congress the number of emails Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded to husband Weiner that led him to question Comey’s competence in the job.
Democrats had also been vocal in recent months that Comey's handling of the investigation of Clinton was bungled and may have swayed the presidential election.
Trump on Wednesday said Comey had "lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington" and tweeted that he would be "replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI."
Trump then turned his attention in a series of follow-up tweets to Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., after the senator said on CNN that a special independent prosecutor is needed to continue the Russia investigation.
"I will actually be introducing legislation that calls for congressional involvement of a special prosecutor because only a special prosecutor can hold accountable anyone who colluded with the Russians" in the alleged hacking attack on the 2016 election, Blumenthal said.
Trump attacked Blumenthal on Twitter — as he has previously — for claiming to have served in Vietnam. In 2010, Blumenthal told The New York Times that he misspoke about his record during a veterans ceremony two years prior and had received military deferments.
"Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
Blumenthal told NBC News that Trump's, "bullying won't silence my calls for an independent special prosecutor."
Meanwhile, Trump said Tuesday that a search for a new director would begin "immediately." Andrew McCabe, who was promoted to deputy director last year after 20 years with the bureau, was named acting FBI director.