FBI Director James Comey is grappling with an uncertain future as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to assume office.
As the perception that Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation swung the election in Trump’s favor calcifies into conventional wisdom, no one inside the Beltway can agree about the embattled director’s future.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, both declined to express support for the FBI chief during Sunday show appearances this week, while incoming White House chief of staff Reince Preibus told ABC Comey should expect to keep his job.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, appearing shortly before Preibus on ABC, said he believes Comey should step aside.
Pence, appearing on Fox News Sunday, wouldn’t offer a definitive assessment of Comey’s future. “You’ll have to ask [Trump] about that,” he said. “I know it’s been a subject of some commentary this last week, but at the end of the day, I know that, whether it’s our security at home or abroad, that the president-elect is going to put the safety and security of the American people first.” (RELATED: Bob Woodward: Trump’s Right, Intel Community Has Treated Him Like ‘Garbage’)
Chris Wallace pressed, and Pence reiterated that the question was one for Trump after he is inaugurated Friday.
Feinstein spoke with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press and also dodged as to whether she believed Comey should remain atop the Bureau.
“I think that’s a decision to come when everybody learns much more about what drove this,” she said.
On the other hand, incoming White House chief of staff Reince Preibus voice supported for Comey on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, calling the director “extremely competent.” He added that there were no plans to dismiss him from his post. Just minutes earlier, an indignant Sanders told the same program that he believed Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation warranted his resignation.
“I think he should take a hard look at what he has done. And I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down,” he said.
Comey assumed command at the FBI in 2013. Typically, the FBI director serves a 10 year term to avoid politicization of the agency.
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