Not all Republicans happy with Comey firing
President Donald Trump had been considering firing former FBI Director James Comey since he was elected, a White House spokeswoman says.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that there was an “erosion of confidence” in Mr Comey over the last year after several missteps.
The administration says Mr Comey was removed on Tuesday for his handling of the Hillary Clinton emails inquiry.
But Democrats say it is because he was probing alleged Russia-Trump links.
On Wednesday the White House also rejected calls to appoint a special prosecutor to the FBI investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election.
“We don’t think it’s necessary,” said Ms Huckabee Sanders. “No one wants this to be finished and completed more than us.”
Her comments came as the US Senate Intelligence Committee invited Mr Comey to testify on Tuesday.
Washington is still shaking from the aftershocks of Mr Comey’s unexpected dismissal.
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin: ‘We know that this involves Russia’
‘Not good optics’ – Analysis: Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington
If Donald Trump is trying to avoid comparisons with Richard Nixon’s scandal-plagued presidency, welcoming Henry Kissinger – the man probably most closely connected with the former president – in the Oval Office probably isn’t the best move.
The whole group meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak was a bit strange, starting with the fact that it happened at all. Given the allegations that Mr Trump fired James Comey because of the FBI investigation into Russia ties to the Trump campaign, meeting with a Russian ambassador the very next day isn’t exactly good optics, as they say.
Neither is keeping US media out of the room and having Russian state photographers provide the only public images of the event – images that are sure to be featured in Democratic campaign adverts in the not-too-distant future.
During the campaign, Mr Trump famously joked that he could shoot somebody, and his supporters would stick by him. Smiling with the Russian ambassador in the midst of a growing Russian hacking controversy is the diplomatic equivalent – a brazen move sans firearms.
Many in Washington will howl, but there’s no guarantee it will move the needle among the president’s legions.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak (EPA)
Why was James Comey fired?
The White House maintains Mr Comey was dismissed because of how he handled the investigation into Mrs Clinton’s use of private email while she was secretary of state.
But many are sceptical that the FBI director would be fired because of actions that the Democratic presidential candidate has blamed for her shock defeat to Mr Trump.
Ms Huckabee Sanders said Mr Comey had committed “atrocities, circumventing the chain of command” within the Justice Department.
She also accused the former FBI chief of metaphorically “throwing a stick of dynamite” into the Department of Justice.
The White House spokeswoman said the “final catalyst” was Tuesday’s letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommending Mr Comey be fired for “serious mistakes”.
Mr Rosenstein faulted Mr Comey’s decision last July to announce the Clinton emails case was closed, and in October – 11 days before the election – revealing the inquiry had reopened.
The deputy attorney general said Mr Comey’s conduct had “usurped” the then-attorney general.
What about the Russia investigation?
Critics accuse the president of firing the nation’s top law enforcement official because he was leading an inquiry into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in last year’s election.
On Wednesday, congressional sources told US media that Mr Comey had in recent days asked the deputy attorney general for more resources for his investigation.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said the reports were “totally false”.
Either way, Republicans and Democrats vowed the House and Senate Intelligence Committees’ investigations into the Russia claims would continue.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said if Mr Trump believed replacing Mr Comey would halt the inquiries “he made a big mistake”.
“The FBI is not Comey,” he added.
What does President Trump say?
The president stood by his actions on Wednesday during a surprise meeting with Nixon-era Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Mr Trump said Mr Comey was fired “because he was not doing a good job”.
His remarks preceded a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergei Kislyak – his first with any Russian official since taking power.
Mr Trump later tweeted: “Dems have been complaining for months & months about Dir. Comey. Now that he has been fired they PRETEND to be aggrieved. Phony hypocrites!”
This article has no comments yet, be the first to comment
Join GhanaStar.com to receive daily email alerts of breaking news in Ghana. GhanaStar.com is your source for all Ghana News. Get the latest Ghana news, breaking news, sports, politics, entertainment and more about Ghana, Africa and beyond.