Comey: ‘I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russian investigation’

Taylor Rogers

Former FBI Director James Comey believes President Trump suddenly fired him because of the bureau’s investigation into collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia, he said in a hearing before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday.

When asked why he thought Trump relieved him of his duties at the FBI, Comey originally responded, “I guess I don’t know for sure.”

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“I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russian investigation,” he later said.

Comey also said he developed that belief after following reporting on the issue, including Trump’s NBC interview with Lester Holt, in which he called Comey a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

When Comey was initially fired, the White House repeatedly claimed that it was because he publicly bungled his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official State Department business.

But Trump quickly threw that explanation under the bus, saying he terminated Comey for being a “showboat.” And in a private conversation with top Russian diplomats, Trump reportedly said firing Comey, whom he called a “nut job,” relieved the pressure from the investigation into whether any Trump campaign associates colluded with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.

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