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Comey has been the target of intense scrutiny for his role in an investigation into Clinton's emails that rocked November's elections.

"Was he fired?" Lavrov told reporters. "You're kidding. You're kidding".

Then the Russian diplomat waved his hand dismissively and exited the room alongside Tillerson.

"Nobody really knew", a senior White House official told Politico. On CNN, Blumenthal said that the firing had prompted a "looming constitutional crisis". Schumer is among the Democrats calling for a new independent prosecutor.

"Democrats are already portraying Mr. Comey as a liberal martyr, though last October they accused him of partisan betrayal".

Reuters reported, however, that U.S. intelligence agencies were not told of Mr Trump's move in advance. Blumenthal was in the Marine Corps Reserves at the time but did not fight in Vietnam.

He wrote that he appreciated Comey informing him "on three separate occasions" that he's not under investigation. That means the special prosecutor would have much greater latitude in who he can subpoena, which questions they ask, how to conduct the investigation.

However, not everyone agrees Comey should have been fired.

U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to hire "someone who will do a far better job" after firing James Comey as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, defending the decision on Twitter Wednesday as his critics cried foul.

Last summer, the FBI obtained a secret court order to monitor the communications of Carter Page, who was an early adviser to the Trump campaign, as part of its investigation.

Trump, in a series of tweets, mocked the Democrats for saying "some of the worst things" about Comey, who was thrust into the national spotlight while the FBI was investigating Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The White House has repeatedly denied that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians on the attacks.

James Corden: "Remember two years ago when we all made jokes about if Trump ever became the president, he'd be like, 'You're fired".

A Justice Department spokeswoman said it is "totally false" that FBI Director James B. Comey had asked the deputy attorney general for additional resources for the Russian Federation investigation in the days before he was sacked.

President Donald Trump says ousted FBI Director James Comey "was not doing a good job".

The White House press secretary has also issued a public statement, explaining that Comey's termination came after recommendations from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The President also tweeted out a link shared by Drudge Report on "10 scandals" under Comey's watch. But Comey finished his speech before heading into an office and did not reappear in the main room. He did not reappear in the main room.

Mr Comey initially chuckled, then finished his speech, said the official, before he left on a plane to return to Washington. President Donald Trump has fired Comey.

Meanwhile, Trump said Tuesday that a search for a new director would begin "immediately".