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Trump turns on critics over FBI chief firing

By AFP   |   10 May 2017   |   2:50 pm  
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President Donald Trump lashed out at his critics in a fresh Twitter attack Wednesday after his unprecedented firing of FBI chief James Comey.

Democrats have pounced on the president amid a massive backlash over his sudden decision to fire Comey on Tuesday, just as the spy agency was investigating whether Trump's campaign aides colluded with Russia in an attempt to sway the US election in the Republican's favour.

"The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!" Trump said in a series of morning tweets.

The FBI director had antagonised all sides -- first angering Republicans by closing the email probe against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and then Democrats by reopening it days before the November presidential elections. Clinton claimed the move contributed to her loss to Trump.

"Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, 'I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.' Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp," Trump said late Tuesday, referring to Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Trump cited Comey's handling of both investigations -- of Clinton's emails and possible Russian election meddling -- to justify his decision to fire him.

"If the administration truly had objections to the way director Comey handled the Clinton investigation, they would have had them the minute the president got into office. But he didn't fire director Comey then. The question is why did it happen last night?" Schumer said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

"We know director Comey was leading an investigation in whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, a serious offence. Were those investigations getting too close to home for the president?"

He called for a briefing on Comey's firing before the full Senate.

Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who sits on the Armed Services Committee, said the reasons the Trump administration gave for firing Comey were "laughable."

He joined other Democrats in calling for an independent counsel and special prosecutor to look into the allegations of Russian election meddling.

"What we have now is really a looming constitutional crisis that is deadly serious because there is an investigation ongoing... and ultimately there may be subpoenas to the president of the United States," Blumenthal told CNN.

Trump then turned on Blumenthal, saying he should be the one to be investigated over "one of the greatest military frauds in US history" due to past controversial statements he made about his own military service during the Vietnam War.

"Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. 'Richie' devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history," Trump wrote.

"For years, as a pol in Connecticut, Blumenthal would talk of his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam - except he was never there. When caught, he cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness...and now he is judge & jury. He should be the one who is investigated for his acts."

The president also labelled as "fake news" reports that his former advisor Roger Stone -- who is under FBI scrutiny for its Russian election interference probe -- was among those who recommended firing Comey.

He also retweeted a link from the conservative-leaning Drudge Report website about "10 scandals" during Comey's tenure.



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