Hayden: There Was Only One Time Trump Should Have Fired Comey, And It Wasn’t Now

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Former head of the CIA and NSA retired Gen. Michael Hayden believes President Donald Trump should have fired former FBI Director James Comey during the presidential transition, rather than Tuesday evening.

“If Tuesday’s firing was really about Comey’s performance last year, the time to let him go was January, during the transition, when every new president is given the chance (indeed, expected) to reboot the senior leadership of the government,” he wrote in a Wednesday op-ed for The Hill.

Hayden added that Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation has been well known since last summer and suspects Trump’s motivation may have been something else. He posited that Trump may have fired him “perhaps out of fear that Comey could reprise his independent, attorney general-free performance this year as the Russia investigation advances.”

Trump fired Comey on the apparent recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod  Rosenstein who excoriated his handling of the 2016 Clinton email investigation. Rosenstein wrote, I cannot defend the director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly-universal judgement that he was mistaken.”

Trump accepted the conclusion from Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Comey should be fired telling Comey “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.”

He continued, “You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”

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