House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday said he supported President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, accusing the former director of politicizing the bureau.
The Republican lawmaker, speaking to POLITICO’s Anna Palmer at a Playbook event in San Francisco, was pressed to respond to allegations that the president had politicized the Federal Bureau of Investigation by removing Comey, who was heading an investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
McCarthy, broaching the subject for the first time since Comey’s ouster late Tuesday afternoon, said the director had drawn politics into the bureau by acting beyond the reach of his role.
“I would argue that Comey made the FBI political,” he said. “That’s probably not the place to be.”
McCarthy added that Comey had made himself “a household name,” something he argued no FBI director should do. The House majority leader also defended the president’s right to dismiss Comey from the bureau’s top spot.
“You serve at the pleasure [of the president],” he said, adding: “For the good of the FBI and the country, it’s probably a good decision. So let’s move on.”
The California representative also echoed the words of the White House that Comey had lost the confidence of his administration.
“If you lose trust, you gotta change,” he said. “I know there’s never a perfect time for it. It sure comes down to trust and morale”