Vice President Mike Pence was on hand Wednesday to stare down critics of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, insisting to reporters that the commander in chief “made the right decision at the right time.”
“The administration is very confident that with the appointment of a new director of the FBI, [and] because of the president’s strong leadership, we’ll be able to give the nation’s leading law enforcement agency a fresh start,” he said. “And because of the president’s decisive action yesterday to restore confidence and trust of the American people, we have an opportunity for a new beginning at the FBI.”
When pressed on the matter by a different group of reporters, Pence expressed confidence that the decision was “based solely and exclusively on the best interest of the American people” and “trusted confidence” in the FBI. He claimed that Comey had lost the trust of the American people – likely because of the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email probe – and noted that this was an opportunity to make a “fresh start.”
The vice president also noted that Trump is “already in the process of evaluating individuals who will be able to fill that spot, lead the FBI, and restore the confidence of the American people. That’s why this was the right decision at the right time.”
Trump did not mince words when asked about why he fired Comey, stating that he “was not doing a good job. Very simply. He was not doing a good job.” The president also swatted away speculation that his termination cast a shadow over his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Watch Pence speak to reporters below: