James Comey was terminated from his role as FBI director Tuesday, according to statements from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the president himself.
A letter obtained by NBC News from Trump to Comey states the president had been advised by administration officials to remove the FBI head.
“I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately,” Trump told Comey.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.”
The White House Press Secretary’s office also sent out a statement informing the press of the president’s action.
The firing comes just as the director testified before the House Intelligence Committee Monday regarding allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Over the weekend, Comey also called on the Justice Department to refute a Tweet sent by Trump that claimed the Obama administration had ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower.
On Sunday, the White House issued a statement requesting committees also look into the possibility the previous administration may have abused its executive authority.