Trump's mixed messages on ex-FBI Director Comey

Many people on Tuesday began likening President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director Jim Comey to President Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre", during which the former president ordered the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.

In response, Mr. Comey laughed, saying he thought it was a fairly amusing prank. Ron Wyden, calling for Comey to immediately be summoned to testify to Congress about the status of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Often lauded for his independence, Comey had come under intense scrutiny in recent months for his role in the agency's investigation into the email practices of Trump's opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, including a pair of letters he sent to Congress on the matter in the final days of last November's election.

Democrat Hillary Clinton accused Comey of trashing her chances of becoming president by revealing an renewed investigation into her email use.

November 8, 2016: Trump is elected president.

"Regardless of how you think Director Comey handled the unprecedented complexities of the 2016 election cycle, the timing of this firing is very troubling", said Sen.

July 5, 2016: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calls the FBI's decision not to bring criminal charges against Clinton the greatest example yet that the system is "rigged".

Comey, 56, was nominated by President Barack Obama for the Federal Bureau of Investigation post in 2013 to a 10-year term, though that appointment does not ensure a director will serve the full term.

Changes were subsequently made to the programme and Mr Comey drew wide praise.

What's new is that Comey's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and Trump campaign officials is heating up, including whether there is any evidence of collusion between the two as Russian Federation sought to bolster Trump's campaign and hurt Clinton's, according to numerous USA intelligence agencies. It was days before the November 8, 2016, election that Comey announced his team had found additional emails on the laptop of her aide, Huma Abedin, which the Clinton campaign blames for depressing votes in critical battlegrounds that Clinton lost to Trump by a small margin.

October 13, 2016 - "Hillary Clinton is guilty, of all the things that Director Comey stated at his press conference and congressional hearings, and far more".

Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who's up for re-election next year, tweeted that he couldn't explain Trump's decision. "It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion, and it is imperative that President Trump nominate a well-respected and qualified individual to lead the bureau at this critical time". As recently as late January, Comey was seen patting Comey on the back during a White House reception to honor law enforcement officers.

"They will put in a stooge who will shut down this investigation", he said.

"Trump praised him for the work on the email investigation, so that's not it", said Austin Berglas, a former FBI supervisory agent on hacking cases. The two-page, follow-up letter said that, in fact, 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.

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