US President, Donald Trump has sacked FBI Director James Comey. In a statement, Trump says Comey’s firing “will mark a new beginning” for the FBI. The White House says the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.
Comey’s firing comes days after he testified on Capitol Hill about the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump’s campaign.
US President Donald Trump has abruptly fired FBI director James Comey, ousting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the midst of an investigation into whether Mr Trump’s campaign had ties to Russia’s election meddling.
In a letter to Mr Comey, Mr Trump said the firing was necessary to restore “public trust and confidence” in the FBI.
“Today [Mr Trump] informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office,” a statement from press secretary Sean Spicer said.
“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,” Mr Trump said in the statement.
Mr Trump made no mention of Mr Comey’s role in the Clinton investigation, but the President did assert that Mr Comey informed him “on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation”.
The White House said the search for a new FBI director would begin immediately.
Action comes after several tumultuous months for Comey
Mr Comey has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for his role in an investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email practices, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the closing days of last year’s election.
The White House made the stunning announcement shortly after the FBI corrected a sentence in Mr Comey’s sworn testimony on Capitol Hill last week.
Mr Comey told senators 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.