The ouster of the nation's top law-enforcement official thrust the country into a moment of high political tension four months into the new administration.
The decision to sack Mr Comey will raise questions about Mr Trump's motives, in light of the fact that Mr Comey had been leading the FBI investigation into alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. "Knows the subject. Man of integrity".
Following an outcry from politicians from both major parties, the President moved to justify his decision by insisting that Mr Comey had "lost the confidence of nearly everyone in Washington".
Sessions, in a letter to Trump, said that he was recommending Comey's dismissal "for the reasons expressed by the deputy attorney general" and in order for the department to "clearly reaffirm its commitment to longstanding principles" of proper conduct by investigators.
She did not immediately weigh in on Comey's termination. It earns Trump the dubious distinction of being the first president since Richard Nixon to fire the official overseeing an investigation involving the commander in chief.
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There has been widespread public support for Monday's decision, while political experts have given mixed responses. A two-thirds majority of MPs must agree to a move that will shorten the lifespan of a parliament.
An earlier tweet claimed that "Democrats have said some of the worst things" about the top intelligence official, but that now the opposition was playing "so sad". "There can be no question that a fully independent special counsel must be appointed to lead this investigation". "Like Comey, Cox was investigating the president", it said. "There is no guarantee that Mr. Comey's replacement, who will be chosen by Mr. Trump, will continue that investigation; in fact, there are already hints to the contrary".
The firing came as the FBI investigated whether Mr Trump's campaign had ties to Russia's meddling in the election that sent him to the White House.
"Now that Comey is gone there are two urgent priorities that Congress must insist on in its oversight role, the Los Angeles Times commented".
In March, Mr. Comey confirmed in a public hearing that the FBI was investigating links between Mr. Trump's team and the Kremlin.
Democrats would have been "dancing in the streets" had Hillary Clinton won the presidency and fired Comey, Sanders said on MSNBC. He has denied that his campaign was involved in Russia's election meddling. He's also insisted that he is not personally under investigation - asserting Tuesday that Comey told him three times that he was not a target - though the FBI has stated unequivocally that the president's campaign and his associates are facing scrutiny.
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Speaking soon after the results in Paris , he said that a new page was being turned in French history. If France left the European Union , it might signal the end of the huge multinational organization.
Asked if Trump had fired Comey over his handling of the Russian Federation investigation, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said no.
"He wasn't doing a good job", Trump told reporters about Comey after a Wednesday meeting that only sharpened the debate over the Russia investigation, an Oval Office sit-down with Russia Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov. We need to hold them to that. "Everything with the Trump administration is uncharted territory - everything".
Some lawmakers welcomed the news of Mr. Comey's dismissal.
A Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham, said "given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the nation well".
Only once before in the bureau's 93-year history has a president fired the FBI director.
With FBI director James Comey out, here's what happens next
It all amounts to another major political headache for Republican lawmakers, and one that, yet again, was not of their making. Senate Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Brian Schatz called the present situation a full-fledged "constitutional crisis".
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