(ZH) The initially amicable, then increasingly more controversial, contentuous and, finally, rancorous relationship between President Donald Trump and FBI Director James Comey has just concluded with the utterance of two of Trump's favorite words: 'You're fired."
According to a statement issued by the White House, the firing of Comey comes at the recommendation of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Below is the full statement from the White House:
Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
"The FBI is one of our Nation's most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement," said President Trump.
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A search for a new permanent FBI Director will begin immediately.
In a separate letter to Comey, Trump said that "you are not able to effectively lead" the FBI, new leadership is needed to restore trust.
Quoted by Reuters, Republican Senator Graham said after Comey was fired that he believes a "fresh start" will serve the FBI and the nation well.
Will Trump's termination of Comey be perceived as retribution? Perhaps: recall that two months ago Comey announced that the FBI was investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Getting rid of Comey would be one way to put any FBI probe on indefinite hold.