Comey’s firing on Tuesday triggered a new wave of Russia-related turbulence.
His removal was perceived as a blow to the independence of the bureau’s ongoing investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Current and former U.S. officials said that even if that probe remains on track, Comey’s ouster serves broader Russian interests.
“They feel pretty good overall because that’s a further sign that our political system is in a real crisis,” said Eugene Rumer, a former State Department official who served as the top intelligence officer on Russia issues from 2010 to 2014. “The firing of Comey only aggravates this crisis. It’s now certain to be more protracted and more painful, and that’s okay with them.”
And leftist James Clapper:
“The Russians have to be celebrating the success of . . . what they set out do with rather minimal resource expenditure,” Clapper said. “The first objective was to sow discord and dissension, which they certainly did.”
Clapper went further in interviews on Sunday, saying that U.S. institutions are “under assault” from Trump and that Russia must see the firing of Comey as “another victory on the scoreboard for them.”