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Trump: Comey ‘should have never exonerated’ Clinton

The Hill logo The Hill 13/05/2017 Mark Hensch
Trump: Comey ‘should have never exonerated’ Clinton © Provided by The Hill Trump: Comey ‘should have never exonerated’ Clinton

President Trump says that former FBI Director James Comey "should have never exonerated" Hillary Clinton.

"No, what happened, he had a lot of pressure put on and he exonerated her," he said Friday on "NBC Nightly News."  "Should have never exonerated her."

Comey was the public face of the FBI's investigation into Clinton last year. Once he took office, Trump kept Comey on as head of the FBI but fired him earlier this week.

Trump added that the FBI's probe of Clinton's private email server helped him during the 2016 presidential election.

"What Comey did, [he] had good moments for me as a candidate," he told NBC's Lester Holt.

"I happen to have some lawyers that were unrelated lawyers and they were saying 'wow, [Clinton's] guilty here, guilty, guilty, guilty.' Then [Comey] gets to the end and he said she's free as a bird," he said.

Controversy over Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State dogged her 2016 presidential campaign.

Critics charged that the practice might have exposed sensitive national intelligence information that Clinton handled at the State Department.

Comey announced last July that he would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton.

"Our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case," he said, adding that Clinton and her aides were "extremely careless" with classified information.

Comey then shocked Washington last October, shortly before the presidential election, by announcing that the FBI had reopened its investigation of Clinton's server.

The FBI ultimately found no new evidence against Clinton, making the announcement two days before Election Day last November.

Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, has since repeatedly blamed her loss to Trump in part on Comey and the timing of the FBI announcements.

The White House announced Tuesday that Trump had fired Comey, setting off a storm of speculation.

Comey's ouster comes as the FBI probes Russian meddling in the 2016 race, including possible ties between Moscow and Trump's campaign.

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