Senate

McConnell stresses importance of confirming new FBI director

Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) steered clear of weighing in on President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, instead stressing that it’s important for the Senate to confirm his successor. 

“Once the Senate receives a nomination, we look forward to a full, fair, and timely confirmation process to fill the Director position,” McConnell said in a statement. 

He added that the FBI director is a “critical role that is especially important as America faces serious threats at home and abroad.”

{mosads}Trump fired Comey based on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.

The president argued in a letter to Comey that the FBI needs a new leader so it can restore “pubic trust and confidence.”

McConnell’s statement comes as Trump’s decision has brought mixed reaction from GOP senators.

GOP Sens. John Cornyn (Texas), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) each offered support for Trump. 

Cornyn, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said while he was “surprised” by the decision, Comey has “been at the center of controversy” and Trump’s letter made it clear that “he lost confidence in him.”

Meanwhile GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) — who both wield influence on foreign policy and national security issues — offered more tepid statements. 

McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, said he was disappointed, while Corker, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, said the timing will “raise questions.” 

“It is essential that ongoing investigations are fulsome and free of political interference until their completion,” Corker said in a statement. 

The FBI, along with the House and Senate intelligence panels, has been investigating possible contact between Trump campaign officials and Russia.

Tags Bob Corker Chuck Grassley Jeff Sessions John Cornyn John McCain Lindsey Graham Mitch McConnell

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