President Donald Trump on Thursday ran into resistance for calling ousted FBI chief James Comey a “showboat,” an attack that was swiftly contradicted by top U.S. senators and the acting FBI leader, who pledged that an investigation into possible Trump campaign ties to Russia would proceed with vigor.
In his first interview since firing Comey on Tuesday, Trump appeared to try to underscore that Comey’s dismissal was about his performance at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and not about the Russia probe.
Trump faces accusations from Democrats that he fired Comey to hinder the FBI investigation into U.S. intelligence agency allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump. The probe has hung over Trump’s presidency since he took office in January and threatens to overwhelm his policy priorities.
“He’s a showboat. He’s a grandstander,” Trump told NBC News. “The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that, I know that, everybody knows that.”
Trump’s characterization was odds with that of the top Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee. REUTERS