President Donald Trump stated May 11 that Russia must be feeling amused about the disputes raging in the United States following the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Trump announced the removal of Comey May 9, stating that he was acting on legal advice from the Justice Department, the Washington Examiner reported.
“Russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching as the U.S. tears itself apart over a Democrat EXCUSE for losing the election,” Trump tweeted May 11, according to the Examiner.
Democrats and critics of Trump’s decision to remove Comey allege he did so because of his frustration with the FBI’s move to accelerate the investigation into the Trump administration’s possible ties to Russia.
Asked about the Comey affair, Russian President Vladimir Putin maintained that Moscow had nothing to do with it.
“your question looks very funny for me,” Putin said when asked, the Independent reported.
“We have nothing to do with it,” he added. “President Trump is acting in accordance with his law and constitution.”
Putin noted that the firing would not interfere with Russia-US relations.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Trump at the White House May 10. Trump stressed his desire to build better relations between the two countries.
Trump’s decision to remove Comey followed advice from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.
“I have received the attached letters from the attorney general and deputy attorney general of the United States recommending your dismissal as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Trump wrote in a letter to Comey, the Examiner reported. “I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”
However, in his first interview following Comey’s firing, Trump painted a somewhat different picture when he suggested that the decision was his.
“He’s a showboat. He’s a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. I was going to fire Comey. My decision,” he said, according to the BBC.
An online poll conducted by NBC/Survey Monkey suggests that a majority of Americans do not agree with Trumps decision and believe it was inappropriate because Comey was leading the investigation into alleged Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.
While 38 percent of Americans said Trump’s action was appropriate, 54 percent answered that it was not appropriate. The poll was conducted May 10 and 11 among 3,746 likely voters.
46 percent of respondents thought Trump acted because of Comey’s involvement in the inquiry into Russia, a suggestion the White House has denied. 24 percent accepted the Trump administration’s official explanation for Comey’s firing: his alleged mishandling of the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails, CNBC reported.
Sources: Washington Examiner, CNBC, BBC, the Independent/ photo credit: Shealah Craighead/Wikimedia Commons