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A key Republican, Sen. Richard M. Burr, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday he was "troubled by the timing and reasoning" of President Trump's firing of FBI Director James B. Comey.
The statement underscored the growing discomfort in the president's own party about Comey's abrupt dismissal amid the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump's campaign.
In an unusually forceful statement from the typically genteel North Carolina Republican, Burr said Comey's firing "confuses an already difficult investigation" and is "a loss" for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the nation.
Comey had been scheduled to appear Thursday before the Intelligence Committee during an open session on "worldwide threats."
Here is Burr's full statement:
“I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination. I have found Director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee. In my interactions with the Director and with the Bureau under his leadership, he and the FBI have always been straightforward with our Committee. Director Comey has been more forthcoming with information than any FBI Director I can recall in my tenure on the congressional intelligence committees. His dismissal, I believe, is a loss for the Bureau and the nation.”