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Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey Over Handling of Clinton E-mail Issue

Trump had originally criticized the FBI director for not pursuing criminal charges against Clinton last July, but later lavished praise on him.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired FBI Director James Comey, a statement from White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

In the statement, the Press Secretary said the President "terminated and removed" Comey from office "based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions", CNBC reported.

Comey had been leading an investigation into Trump's presidential campaign's possible collusion with Russia to influence the poll outcome.

Comey, 56, had been the target of criticism from many quarters for his handling of a probe involving Clinton's use of a private email server while she was US Secretary of State under Barack Obama. As recently as Tuesday, the FBI clarified remarks that Comey made on the matter last week.

Trump had originally criticized the FBI director for not pursuing criminal charges against Clinton last July, but later lavished praise on him.

There were concerns in Washington that the White House was trying to blunt the FBI probe by firing Comey.

In Trump's letter to Comey, the president said, "It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission."

Three senior FBI and Department of Justice officials said that they had no warning or advance knowledge of Comey's dismissal.

The White House officials maintained that there was no political motive behind the Republican President's decision.
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