11:13 GMT27 July 2021
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    US President Trump Fires FBI Director Comey (55)

    Former FBI Director James Comey should have been fired even sooner than he actually was, a retired US military officer said to Sputnik, noting that the agency chief had lost support of his colleagues because of his actions during the Hillary Clinton probe.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — FBI Director James Comey had already lost the respect of his own agents after mishandling the Hillary Clinton probe before he was fired by President Donald Trump, retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

    "It was widely reported that Comey had lost internal FBI respect last fall with his testimony regarding the mishandled classified material on Hillary Clinton’s private server," Kwiatkowski said.

    Comey’s loss of standing within the organization was common knowledge, Kwiatkowski explained.

    "He really had lost the ability to lead the FBI, and he probably should have been relieved of duty even sooner," she claimed.

    Kwiatkowski disagreed with prevailing US media opinion that Trump had created a firestorm of controversy through his sudden firing of Comey on Tuesday. She pointed out that Comey had previously been widely criticized by both republicans and Democrats over successive errors of judgment.

    "Certainly it is typical of Trump’s deal-making genius to fire Director Comey because both left and right had been, at one time or another, loudly demanding his removal," she argued.

    Kwiatkowski suggested that firing Comey showed Trump was growing into his role as US chief executive and felt more confident in welding his powers.

    "The removal of Comey sends a message to the existing executive bureaucracy that Trump intends to demand both leadership and loyalty on the part of his executive departments," Kwiatkowski suggested.

    The former Air Force officer dismissed the theory that Comey may have been fired before he discovered something significant investigating foreign influence within the Trump administration.

    Comey had been notorious for refusing to seriously investigate scandals concerning former President Bill Clinton, his wife 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and their controversial charitable foundation, Kwiatkowski recalled.

    "Comey did not investigate any number of potential influence peddling possibilities regarding the now defunct Clinton Foundation… and he seems to have made little progress under the Trump administration looking into leaks, hacks, or foreign influence," she said

    Firing Comey could be the first move in a clash between the US president and his national security establishment, Kwiatkowski cautioned.

    "Firing the FBI director isn’t a direct shot at the national security state, but it may be a sign of things to come. Trump [is] asserting his sense of who is trustworthy and loyal… and I believe it will bring him into direct conflict with the deep state interests," she said.

    Comey had failed to launch any investigation into whether the National Security Agency or other federal agencies had spied on Americans for political reasons, Kwiatkowski recalled.

    In an interviewed aired on Thursday, Trump told NBC the FBI was in turmoil under Comey’s leadership and denied pressuring the director to drop the ongoing probe of his administration.

    US President Trump Fires FBI Director Comey (55)


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