© Greg Nash
The White House circulated negative press clippings on FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE minutes after announcing his firing Tuesday evening.
The one-page sheet circulated by the White House contained four stories, most of them about Democrats criticizing Comey's decision to disclose developments in the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty MORE’s use of a private email server.
One of the clips was a Wall Street Journal editorial calling for Comey’s resignation because “he has lost the trust of nearly everyone in Washington, along with every American who believes the FBI must maintain its reputation as a politically impartial federal agency.”
The story selection, and the release itself, added confusion to the circumstances surrounding his firing, given that President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE frequently cheered Clinton’s email woes when he ran against her in 2016.
Trump said in late October "it took a lot of guts" for Comey to inform Congress he was looking into new emails related to the Clinton probe.
Comey’s firing comes as the FBI investigates whether any Trump associates coordinated with Russia in its effort to meddle in last year’s election.
“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 lead the bureau,” Trump wrote in a letter to Comey dated Tuesday.