(UPI) — James Comey told his top agents he has been asked by President Donald Trump to stay on as FBI director, sources familiar with the matter said.
Comey, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2013 to serve a ten-year term, can be dismissed by Trump. While presidents typically keep FBI directors for their full terms, the FBI’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election made Comey’s place in the Trump administration uncertain.
Retaining Comey would avoid another potentially acrimonious confirmation hearing, as well as bolstering the morale of the FBI workforce after Comey and the agency were criticized for actions which some believe influenced the outcome of the election, the New York Times said Tuesday. Trump, during the campaign, regularly called for action by the FBI and the Justice Department to bring criminal charges against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for her use of a personal email server.
After the election, Trump said he had not decided whether to retain Comey. The two met for the first time earlier this month for an intelligence briefing. At that time, Trump made it clear he hoped Comey would stay on as FBI director, sources familiar with the situation said. Comey told the news last week to senior FBI employees, known as special agents in charge, in a conference call.
The FBI is currently leading an investigation into alleged ties between some of Trump’s associates, notably former campaign manager Paul Manafort, and the Russian government.
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