The United States Senate’s maverick Republican is deeply unhappy with the President.
Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey might be within his constitutional powers but “this is not a good thing for America,” Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said yesterday, and it is not going to be the end of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election or the scandal.
McCain spoke to the Munich Security Conference group. He did not directly accuse Trump of sacking Comey because of the Russia investigation, but he made clear that if that was the intent, it would not succeed, according to a report in the Washington Post.
“This scandal is going to go on,” says McCain. “I’ve seen it before. This is a centipede. I guarantee you there will be more shoes to drop. I can just guarantee it. There’s just too much information that we don’t have that will be coming out.”
McCain renewed his call for what he terms a “special Congressional committee” to investigate the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) May 9, 2017
“Probably the most respected individual in all of the American government is probably the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” added McCain. “I’m very sorry that this has happened.”
While he called Trump’s action to take out Comey “unprecedented,” McCain said it reminded him of when President Nixon dismissed an independent counsel who was investigating the Watergate scandal that would eventually force his resignation.
“I remember the Saturday Night Massacre,” said McCain.
McCain said the position of FBI Director holds a special meaning for Americans going back decades, which makes what Trump did even more disappointing.
His remarks to the group of American and Europeans in Washington, D.C. were a little stronger than his statement issued last night:
“While the President has the legal authority to remove the Director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the President’s decision to remove James Comey from office. James Comey is a man of honor and integrity, and he has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances. I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president’s decision to remove the FBI Director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee.”
“I can’t help but think that this is not a good thing for America,” declared McCain.
What McCain said echoes what many Democrats and independents have said since the shocking firing – without real cause – of the head of the FBI in the midst of an investigation into Russian interference in the election.
It is because he is a Republican that McCain’s statement takes on extra meaning. Many other Republicans, led by Trump sycophant Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have tried to make excuses for what the President has done.
Now, as Americans wait to see who Trump will appoint as the replacement, it is important to note that person will need 51 votes in the Senate for confirmation since he or she is unlikely to get any Democratic votes.
If McCain and a few other Republicans will stand up to make sure the FBI’s new leader is a person of integrity, they can make a real difference.