Comey fired: Vice President Mike Pence says Trump 'made the right decision'

Mr Pence led the White House's defence of the president's decision

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Donald Trump’s Vice President has claimed the president made the correct decision in firing FBI Director James Comey. He also denied suggestions the move was linked to the ongoing Russian investigation.

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Mike Pence said it was time for a “fresh start” at the bureau.

“Let me be very clear that the President’s decision...was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interest of the American people,” he said.

Speaking a day after Mr Trump fired Mr Comey, who was overseeing a federal probe of possible links between Mr Trump’s campaign and alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, Mr Pence said that the president had “made the right decision at the right time”.

He said the administration now looking forward to finding someone to lead the law enforcement agency.

Comey firing 'sends a chill throughout federal bureacracy', former CIA boss says

Mr Trump said that he had fired Mr Comey on the recommendation of his senior law officers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, who had criticised Mr Comey’s handling of a probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server.

Mr Pence said that Mr Comey had lost the confidence of the American people. He said Mr Trump took “strong and decisive leadership” to put the safety and security of the American people first.

"I'm grateful for the action has has taken. I'm confident that as we move forward, the president will appoint someone who can restore the confidence of our nation in our leading law enforcement agency."

Mr Trump himself also defended his decision, saying that the man whose performance he had previously praised and for having displayed "guts" by pursuing a probe of Hillary Clinton's use of private email server, "was not doing a good job".

Mr Trump briefly spoke to reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday after a closed meeting with Russia's foreign minister.

His remarks come as the White House has been defending the decision to dismiss Mr Comey. Administration officials have said the firing was not related to the investigation into possible contacts between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.