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'Suspicious' Or 'Said Too Much'? Texas Leaders React To Comey Firing

U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro (left) and Blake Farenthold.

From Texas Standard:

May 9, 2017, the day President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, may go down in history the way Oct. 20, 1973, has. That 1973 date is better known as the “Saturday Night Massacre” – when President Nixon’s attorney general and deputy attorney general resigned. For reaction to Comey's ouster, Texas Standard host David Brown turns to a Texas Democrat and a Texas Republican in Congress.


Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence:

"This basically stunned the American conscience. Nobody was expecting it. It comes about five weeks after FBI Director Comey said in an open hearing that Trump associates may be being investigated for coordinating with the Russians who interfered with our 2016 elections. So it comes at a very suspicious time."

"It's true that both Republicans and Democrats have had their criticisms – often strong criticisms – about Director Comey. But I also said a few months ago that, despite his errors, I trusted his judgment and his independence more than I would trust the judgment and independence of anybody that Donald Trump might appoint. The American people are not going to accept anyone who is simply a stooge of the President."

"I think this is a stronger argument for creating an independent commission (to investigate possible cooperation with Russia). Yesterday, I was encouraged to see more Republicans come forward with the same recommendation. So I still think we should move in that direction. Perhaps this will be the impetus for that."

Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold of Corpus Christi sits on the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the Department of Justice:

"I think the timing on this was poor and I think the President probably could have laid a little bit more groundwork for the firing where the political repercussions would not have been as severe. But, as it stands now, it looks like he fired him because he was worried about the Russia investigation but I don't think that's necessarily the case. He fired one man at the FBI. He didn't fire the entire FBI."

"I think it [the Russia investigation] is going to move forward with professional career FBI agents but it's going to move off the front pages and off of the TV screens and off of the radio speakers. Comey seemed to really enjoy being in front of the camera and, when he did, he tended to talk a little bit too much."

"I want to see somebody (as FBI director) who is a professional in law enforcement. It may be a name very few of us recognize or, you know, it could be somebody like Trey Gowdy. You just don't know."

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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