May 9, 2017

Reactions to Trump firing James Comey

Carolyn Kaster / AP

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey suddenly on Tuesday evening, noting that his decision came on the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. The reactions:

  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Trump's firings of Sally Yates, Preet Bharara, and James Comey: "This does not seem to be a coincidence."
  • Edward Snowden: "Set aside politics: every American should condemn such political interference in the Bureau's work. This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities. If I can oppose his firing, so can you."
  • Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA): Comey firing "disturbingly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate scandal &the natl turmoil that it caused."
  • ACLU: "The independence of the FBI director is meant to ensure that the president does not operate above the law. For President Trump to fire the man responsible for investigating his own campaign's ties to the Russians imperils that fundamental principle."
  • Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI): My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of this letter is bizarre.
  • Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Intel committee chairman: "I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination."
  • Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ): "I've spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey's firing. I just can't do it."
  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): "The FBI Director serves at the pleasure of the president. Under these circumstances, president Trump accepted the recommendation of the Justice Department that the Director lacked the confidence needed to carry out his important duties."
  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "I am disappointed in the President's decision to remove James Comey from office. James Comey is a man of honor and integrity, and he has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances."
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member on House Oversight committee: The firing "harkens back to a similarly tainted decision by President Nixon."
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): "But does anyone seriously believe @realDonaldTrump fired the top person investigating his ties to Russia because he was unfair to Hillary?"
  • Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA): "Trump firing Comey shows how frightened the Admin is over Russia investigation."
  • Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA): "This is Nixonian." Called for immediate appointment of special counsel on Trump/Russia.
  • Fox News' Sean Hannity: "Comey Fired!!! Finally."
  • Brian Fallon, national press secretary for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign: "I'm not shedding any tears for Comey personally -he hurt FBI's reputation- but I do worry whether we ever get to the bottom of Russia now."
  • DNC Chair Tom Perez: "Trump fired the man investigating him — a deeply dangerous abuse of power. We need a special prosecutor, now."
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD): Calls for emergency hearings, says it's "mind boggling" that Sessions "was directly involved" in call to fire.
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA): "Time to revive Watergate vocabulary: obstruction, cover-up, suborn, conspiracy, inoperative, criminal conspiracy, independent prosecutor."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,471,768 — Total deaths: 344,911 — Total recoveries — 2,223,523Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,660,072 — Total deaths: 98,184 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Italy reports lowest number of new coronavirus cases since February

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The Italian government reported 300 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the lowest daily increase since Feb. 29.

Why it matters: Italy, the first country in Europe to implement a nationwide lockdown after emerging as a hotspot in March, appears to have finally weathered its coronavirus outbreak. Italy has reported nearly 33,000 total deaths, the third-highest total behind the U.S. and U.K.

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in over two months

Photo: Oliver Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden made his first in-person appearance in over two months on Monday to honor Memorial Day by laying a wreath at a Delaware veterans park, AP reports.

Why it matters: Biden, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, has taken the unprecedented step of campaigning from his home during the coronavirus pandemic, ever since canceling a rally in Cleveland on March 10.