Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that he has yet to see a sufficient explanation for President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to fire his FBI director, James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into his campaign’s connections to the Russian government.
“When you fire probably, arguably, the most respected person in America, you’d better have a very good explanation, and so far I haven’t seen that,” McCain told CNN on Wednesday morning, the day after Comey’s firing.
The Trump administration’s public explanation for firing Comey is that he mishandled the close of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
But multiple news outlets, including POLITICO, have reported that Trump was upset with Comey over the Russia investigation and was looking for a reason to fire him. The news shocked the FBI and lawmakers on Tuesday, prompting accusations that the president was seeking to interfere with an investigation involving his associates and comparisons to Richard Nixon.
McCain told CNN on Wednesday that the White House’s public reasoning for the decision was not satisfactory.
“I don’t believe that that is sufficient rationale for removing the director of the FBI, and I regret that it’s happened,” McCain said. “We have a lot of issues and challenges and this just diverts a lot of that attention.”