President Trump praised FBI Director James Comey's "guts" for renewing an investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE, seven months before firing him for mishandling the situation.
In the Oct. 31 remarks, Trump, who had previously criticized Comey for not bringing charges against Clinton, said he had to give the FBI credit.
"That was so bad what happened originally, and it took guts for Director Comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had where they’re trying to protect her from criminal prosecution," Trump said at a Michigan campaign rally.
"It took a lot of guts."
Trump on Tuesday shocked many by firing Comey.
He said the FBI director had mishandled the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of State — despite his previous praise.
Trump also spoke warmly of Comey after he entered office, giving him a hug just days after his inauguration and joking to news cameras that, "He's become more famous than me.
He also told Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo in April that while he believed Comey was "very, very good to Hillary Clinton" and kept her from facing charges, he wants to "give everybody a good, fair chance."
Trump's perspective apparently changed recently, prompting his firing of Comey on Tuesday afternoon. In a letter to Comey, Trump said he agrees with his Department of Justice’s assessment that Comey is "not able to effectively lead the Bureau."
Those findings, specifically from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, stem from Rosenstein's belief that Comey mishandled the Clinton investigation.
"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 judgment that he was mistaken," Rosenstein wrote.
He went on to add that Comey erred by declaring in July that no reasonable prosecutor would have moved forward with a prosecution against Clinton.
Trump echoed that sentiment at the time, tweeting in July that it was proof the system was "rigged."
FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2016
But during the October rally, Trump said that while he disagreed with the July decision, Comey's October letter alerting Congress that the FBI had reopened the investigation changed his mind.
"What he did, he brought back his reputation — he brought it back," Trump said.
"He's got to hang tough because a lot of people want him to do the wrong thing. He did the right thing."