Trump defends firing of FBI director amid Russia probe
The president defended his firing of the FBI director on Monday, saying it was necessary to protect the nation from “foreign influence.”
“The Russians hacked into the DNC, stole emails and dumped them on the internet,” Trump said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press.
“They want to get me.
I have to protect our country.
They want to do that.
I’ve had enough of them, I have no choice.”
He also said the Russians were “doing things in the Middle East that nobody wants to see.”
“I mean, I mean, the whole thing is just a disgrace.
The whole thing has been a disgrace,” he said.
“And it’s been a total disaster.”
Asked if he was going to fire the FBI’s director, Trump said: “Well, I think it’s a matter of what I think is appropriate.
I think you can’t just do it.
I mean there’s lots of things going on in the world.
But I think the FBI, in some respects, is doing a good job.”
Trump is in the middle of a political firestorm over his response to the FBI report that said the Kremlin sought to help him win the 2016 presidential election and undermine the FBI.
The president has repeatedly claimed the report was fake news, and he has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the Russian interference.
Trump has repeatedly suggested he would have fired the FBI Director had he known the report had any merit.
“I would have been fired, no question about it,” Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.
“But he was not doing a very good job, and I felt it was a good thing to get rid of him.”
The president told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Monday that he was “very concerned” that the FBI might not have been as thorough in investigating the allegations.
“The only reason they didn’t look at it, I’m sure, was that the guy was a partisan, he was a guy that wanted to put me in,” Trump added.
“I mean there was nothing that was happening, nothing to do with me.”
The FBI director was also the subject of a letter sent to Trump on Friday by Republican Senator John McCain, who said the bureau’s probe into the 2016 election should be closed.
“Mr. Comey, a former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is a loyal servant of the American people and a devoted FBI employee, and should not be removed as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” McCain said.