Trump sacks Comey - FBI chief watched it on telly, the “room went quiet”

Trump’s shock sacking of FBI director James Comey has sparked a firestorm in the American media but for Trump’s favourite newspaper Breitbart, it’s an open and shut case dismissed in a 300 word lead story - “Put simply, if Trump had fired Comey while there were still serious questions about Russia, then it would have been more plausible to accuse him of trying to interfere in the investigation or cover up whatever happened. It is now clear that nothing, in fact, happened,” is the Breitbart view.

“Are you frustrated”, the out and out Trump supporting Breitbart asks the “liberal media” on its Twitter handle about the outpouring on the Comey exit.

The bombshell was delivered in an innocuous manila envelope at the FBI headquarters in Washington D.C Tuesday. CNN's Kevin Liptak goes behind the scenes of the epic firing in this gripping story.

Trump's letter sacking FBI chief Comey/ Reuters

Trump's letter sacking FBI chief Comey/ Reuters

Although the alleged Russian involvement to tilt the US election is the leading narrative in the Comey story, Trump's recent hostility is directed towards Comey’s hardline that there's not a shred of proof that Obama wiretapped Trump's offices in Manhattan. As Obama returns with a bang to the speaking circuit, Trump is reportedly keen not to let Obama's popularity overshadow his or his family's.

As for the man at the centre of the storm, Comey reportedly learnt of his sacking from telly news while he was mentoring field officers in Los Angeles.

Trump Wanted the James Comey sacking to be a public execution and got it done to perfection. Trump’s Twitter handle, now far quieter, has a single tweet on Comey with the hashtag #draintheswamp.

“The room went quiet, there was complete shock,” sources are now saying about the moments just after Comey saw the news break on television.

The FBI director now joins acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as senior law enforcement officials who have been fired by Trump.

James Comey's firing is a "grotesque abuse of power," says CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Trump wanted to sack Comey, his administration created a paper trail is the dominant theme playing in the American media on the Comey firestorm that broke Tuesday afternoon. "This is a warning from Trump. You'll be next if you get after me".

So, Comey’s out of a job but not broke, he took a pay cut to join the government in 2013. He was earlier on a profit sharing deal with boutique hedge fund in Connecticut Bridgewater Associates where he worked as the firm’s general counsel. He earned nearly $ 6 million for his final full year with the company, according to Open Secrets. The FBI paid Comey $185,000 per year.

Trump told Comey the FBI needed new leadership and he was being "terminated" with immediate effect in a shock move that political watchers are comparing with the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon in 1973.

“Not since Watergate has a president dismissed the person leading an investigation bearing on him,” reports New York Times.

For that too, Breitbart has an answer - those trying to hype the Comey firing as the new Watergate and revive the Russia conspiracy theory are “making fools of themselves” and actually helping Trump.

The Washington Post has a useful annotated version of how the file was prepared to kick out Comey.

Just like the Saturday Night Massacre during Watergate, says The Economist: “Many commentators are comparing the dramatic dismissal of Mr Comey to a decisive moment in the Watergate scandal: the “Saturday Night Massacre” of October 20th 1973, when Richard Nixon ordered the sacking of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor looking into the burglary that would eventually lead to Nixon’s downfall. Ever since Watergate, presidents have been reluctant to pick a battle with directors of the FBI. Mr Comey’s case is different from Mr Cox’s, in that he was not specifically appointed to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign. Moreover, as Mr Trump pointed out in his letter, Mr Comey had assured the president three times that he himself was not under investigation by the FBI.”

Donald Trump acted like a despot, says New Yorker: “With Comey out of the way, Trump can now pick his own man (or woman) to run the Bureau, and this person will have the authority to close down that investigation.”

Updated Date: May 10, 2017 15:53 PM

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