Political News

Americans split along party lines on firing of FBI director

Posted May 11

Recent events in the nation's capital have many Americans feeling like they're riding a never-ending political roller coaster.

Less than a week after House Republicans voted to dismantle Barack Obama's signature health care law, President Donald Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey.

Then, on Wednesday, Trump met with Russia's top diplomat amid ongoing FBI and congressional investigations of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election and possible contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

As voters processed the latest news out of Washington they remained divided along party lines with Republicans and Trump supporters seeing Comey's dramatic firing as necessary and Democrats viewing it with suspicion.



Ronnie Vaca, a 36-year-old who works in the biotechnology industry, said he disagrees with Trump's decision to fire Comey and thinks it's a cover-up to keep investigators from uncovering evidence of Russian interference in the presidential election.

"If he doesn't get the answer he wants, he'll get rid of them and put in someone who gives him what he's looking for," said Vaca, an Army veteran from Orange County, California, who voted for Hillary Clinton.



Harding Aslinger, a 70-year-old retiree who was visiting St. Louis's Gateway Arch from Chattanooga, Tennessee, called Comey's firing "necessary for the betterment of the government."

Aslinger said he has "total confidence" in the president and his administration.



Financial adviser John Carey said he thinks Comey should have resigned or been fired last July for overstepping his bounds in the investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails.

The 65-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, said he believes Comey should have turned the facts over to the Department of Justice, rather than stating his own opinions about the case.

"It's the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not the Federal Bureau of Prosecution," said Carey, who didn't vote for president last year.



Amber Jordan, a 34-year-old marketing director from Little Rock, Arkansas, said she thinks personnel changes are to be expected with any new administration. She didn't think anyone, Comey included, should be surprised by Trump's decision.

"He doesn't like to work with people who don't like to work for him," she said.

Jordan expected Comey would be fired, but said the way Trump announced the termination was akin to how someone would be dismissed on the reality TV show "The Bachelor."

"You don't just fire someone live on the air," Jordan said. "That's not the way the president should handle things.



Oklahoma City bookstore owner Charles Martin supported Hillary Clinton in November, but he's tried to remain hopeful during the Trump presidency.

But Trump's latest move has him worried.

Firing the FBI director amid an ongoing investigation into possible contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia is un-American and something expected in a "strong-arm regime," said Martin, 40.

"What is unsettling about this is it looks like we might be getting to the end of what's been a national embarrassment and starting to approach the cusp of a national tragedy," Martin said. "Ten years down the road, are we going to be looking back at this as, 'I can't believe that this was a thing that we did — how funny?' Or is this going to be, 'Wow this is where it all started falling apart?'"



Like other Clinton supporters, Cheri Zettel found the timing of Comey's firing suspicious because of the Russia probe. She wants a special prosecutor to take over the investigation.

"They may find nothing, and that's fine too. But we need to know," she said.

Zettel, 57, of Dallas, said the U.S. "can't have constant influence in our elections, or we've lost our democracy."

She added: "I'm not thrilled that Comey had so much influence on our election ... but nobody was looking at firing him when it was all about Hillary Clinton."



Mary Smith, a retired homemaker and registered independent who voted for Hillary Clinton, said she's still trying to make sense of it all.

"I don't understand it," said Smith, 71, of Schenectady, New York, as she waited at the Albany airport. "It seems at such a vulnerable time when he's trying to investigate the Russian connection to Flynn, that this action would be taken."



When it comes to Trump, Tom Stump is taking the long view.

Stump, 70, who works at a car dealership in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, said he's not yet formed an opinion about Trump's firing of Comey, preferring to let the story develop.

"I keep an eye on it but at this stage in my life, nothing's really shocking. It's a change in politics, a new president with new ideas."

Stump did not vote in the November election but called himself a Trump supporter.

A Civil War buff and Vietnam veteran, he said, "America's very flexible and she's always been very flexible, so I think she can tolerate just about anything. I really believe that. ... Sometimes adversity is a good thing in American life."


Rubinkam reported from Hamburg, Pennsylania. Tamara Lush in Bartow, Florida, Jim Salter in St. Louis, Jamie Stengle in Dallas, Adam Kealoha Causey in Oklahoma City, Mary Esch in Albany, New York, Angie Wang in Phoenix and Amanda Myers in Los Angeles contributed to this report.


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  • Jim Smith May 11, 1:00 p.m.
    user avatar

    There is nothing to be split on over the firing. The Democrats are really making themselves look bad here. Flip flopping:

    "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CNN last year that "Maybe [Comey's] not in the right job.”

    “I think that we have to just get through this election and just see what the casualties are along the way,” she said.

    After Trump sent Comey packing, the California Democrat took a decidedly different position.

    “The President’s sudden and brazen firing of the FBI Director raises the ghosts of some of the worst Executive Branch abuses," Pelosi said in a statement."

  • Jim Smith May 11, 12:59 p.m.
    user avatar

    There is nothing to be split on over the firing. The Democrats are really making themselves look bad here. Flip flopping:

    "Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who got a pre-announcement heads-up from the president that the decision had been made, called Comey's firing "a big mistake."

    "Earlier this afternoon President Trump called me and informed me he was firing Director Comey," Schumer told reporters. "I told the president, 'Mr. President with all due respect you are making a big mistake.'"

    But just last November, after Trump was elected president, Schumer sang a different tune.

    Hypocrisy and fake outrage? Dems had been calling for months for the firing of Comey!
    — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) May 10, 2017

    “I do not have confidence in him any longer,” Schumer said of the FBI director."

  • Jim Smith May 11, 12:57 p.m.
    user avatar

    There is nothing to be split on over the firing. The Democrats are really making themselves look bad here. Flip flopping:

    "Just hours before Comey was canned, former Clinton cmpaign chairman John Podesta tweeted: "The American public is getting mildly nauseous listening to Jim Comey."

    Then, after Comey was fired he tweetd: "@realDonaldTrump Didn't you know you're supposed to wait til Saturday night to massacre people investigating you?""

    Notice he said that Trump was being investigated by Comey. That's a total lie/Fake News. Comey said 3 times under oath that Trump was not being investigated.

  • John Archer May 11, 8:27 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I think you have it backwards.

  • Michael Bawden May 11, 8:23 a.m.
    user avatar

    The complete reversal of democrats illustrates the swamp. Bill Clinton meeting with AG lynch during FBI investigation and Comey all over the board closing and then reopening investigation. Hillary blaming Comey for her loss. Dems clammoring for his dismissal from Obama. Big sucking sound in DC. KEEP DRAINING.