White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer closed Monday’s briefing with a strongly worded defense of President Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, saying it was the right thing to do for the American people because Comey “wasn’t up to the job.”
“There was clearly bipartisan support that Jim Comey wasn’t up to the job,” Spicer said. “The president has every right to fire a person, because he believed Director Comey lacked the judgment and the decision-making skills and wasn’t up to the job.”
Spicer portrayed Trump’s surprising move to dismiss Comey as noble because he knew it would make matters worse for his administration, stressing that Trump said he wanted the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election to be done “absolutely properly.”
“The president had to do the right thing for the American people, because he believes that Jim Comey was the wrong man for that position,” Spicer said. “And I think that we’ve got to be very clear as to the reason that the president took the actions that he did … He knew it was the right thing for the country, the right thing for the FBI, and the right thing to get to the bottom of this.”
On further questioning, Spicer said Comey did not have the leadership skills necessary for the job.
Trump’s firing of Comey has touched off calls by Democrats for a special prosecutor to look into the collusion charges regarding the Trump campaign and Russia. The White House has stated no such prosecutor is needed.