Former staffers for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign reacted with a mix of disbelief and cynicism following Tuesday’s announcement that President Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey.
Campaign employees, who have long blamed Comey for Clinton’s loss, erupted on Twitter following the shocking news, with some comparing the current president’s actions to those of Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal.
The FBI and several congressional committees are investigating Russian interference with the presidential election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any such inquiries in March, following media reports that he had met with Russia’s ambassador. However, Democrats have long called for an independent probe into Russia separate.
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s former national press secretary, noted on Twitter he wouldn’t be “shedding any tears for Comey personally” and that he believed the director’s actions hurt the FBI’s reputation. But he continued to note that the firing casts doubt on the future of any investigation into ties between the White House and Russia that have plagued the first 100 days of the administration.
Other staffers repeated calls for a special prosecutor to launch an independent investigation into the ties. The issue was thrown into the spotlight once again this week as former acting attorney general Sally Yates testified before the Senate. Yates on Monday told a congressional subcommittee she had warned the Trump administration that national security adviser Michael Flynn was “compromised” 18 days before he was eventually fired from his position, noting that during that time, he “could essentially be blackmailed” by the Russians.
Leading Democrats reiterated calls for a special prosecutor on Russia after Comey’s departure, saying such an investigation “cannot wait.”