James Comey thought his firing was a prank
Another shocking detail about Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday: Comey had no idea it was happening. The former FBI director was giving a speech to Bureau employees in Los Angeles, according to The New York Times, when a television in the background flashed the White House’s decision. Comey reportedly laughed, believing the news to be a prank. (On a daily basis, we sympathize.)
Comey staffers were forced to cut off his speech and usher him into a nearby office, where they confirmed the news. Soon after, Trump’s private bodyguard hand-delivered the termination letter to FBI headquarters in Washington, seven blocks from the White House. Comey was read the letter over the phone.
FBI officials told ABC News that Comey was “surprised, really surprised” and “caught flat-footed,” which is especially sad considering he initially thought the “prank” was “fairly funny.” Comey was scheduled to speak at an FBI recruiting event in Hollywood on Tuesday night.
The Trump administration attributed Comey’s firing to his mishandling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Neither the attorney general or deputy attorney general’s recommendation letters mentioned the ongoing FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia.