Are Trump’s true motives obvious on this? or is it just me?
Mr. Comey’s dismissal was a stunning development for a president that benefited from the F.B.I. investigation of the Democratic nominee during the 2016 campaign. Separately, the F.B.I. also is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.
The abrupt firing raised questions over whether Mr. Trump was trying to influence the Russia investigation. But he said he was following recommendations from the Justice Department, which criticized how Mr. Comey concluded the investigation into Mrs. Clinton.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau”, Mr. Trump said in a letter dated Tuesday to Mr. Comey.
Mr. Comey broke with longstanding tradition and policies by publicly discussing the Clinton case last July and chastising her “careless” handling of classified information. Then, in the campaign’s final days, Mr. Comey announced that the F.B.I. was reopening the investigation, a move that earned him widespread criticism.
Yet many of the facts cited as evidence for Mr. Comey’s dismissal were well known when Mr. Trump decided to keep him on the job. Mr. Comey was three years in to a 10-year term.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the F.B.I. that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Mr. Trump wrote.
In the final days of the campaign, Mr. Trump said that it “took guts” for Mr. Comey to reopen the Clinton investigation. “What he did brought back his reputation,” Mr. Trump said. Those very actions are now at the heart of Mr. Comey’s firing.
Full New York Times article BELOW THE FOLD.