Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) criticized President Donald Trump for firing FBI Director James Comey and said that the decision will prolong the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.
“I regret it, I think it’s unfortunate,” McCain told a group of foreign diplomats Tuesday evening, according to the Post. “The president does have that constitutional authority. But I can’t help but think that this is not a good thing for America.”
Democrats have suggested that Trump fired Comey in order to thwart an ongoing investigation into Russian efforts to influence the election.
McCain also said that the Russia scandal “is going to go on,” the Post reported.
“I’ve seen it before. This is a centipede," McCain said. "I guarantee you there will be more shoes to drop, I can just guarantee it. There’s just too much information that we don’t have that will be coming out.”
In a statement before his remarks to the diplomats, McCain said he was “disappointed in the President's decision to remove James Comey from office,” and he reiterated his call for “a special congressional committee to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election.”
“The president's decision to remove the FBI director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee,” he said.
Trump fired Comey on Tuesday. In a series of tweets, Trump defended the decision, arguing that Comey had “lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington”:
Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, "I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer." Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1494384172.0
The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1494414648.0
James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1494415144.0
The now-former director of the FBI reportedly discovered he had been terminated when he saw a television report and initially thought it was a prank.
Democrats — who have blamed Comey for swaying the 2016 election in Trump’s favor when he alerted Congress days before the election that he was re-opening the investigation into former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server — questioned the timing of Comey’s termination.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a statement Wednesday that “the real question we face today is whether Director Comey was fired because of the Clinton email investigation — which could have happened in January — or whether he was fired because of the FBI’s investigation of Trump connections to Russia.”
(H/T: The Hill)