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McCain: Trump firing FBI director 'confirms need' to investigate Russian election interference

In the wake of President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. John McCain said the move "confirms the need and the urgency ... for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election."

"While the president has the legal authority to remove the director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the president's decision to remove James Comey from office," McCain said in a statement released by his office Tuesday afternoon.

Comey, who came under even more political fire after the nonprofit news outlet ProPublica reported that he made recently misleading statements to Congress about the probe of Anthony Weiner's laptop just before the November election, was dismissed by Trump on Tuesday. Comey's FBI has been handling the investigation into allegations that Russia's Vladimir Putin attempted to play a role in Trump's win over Hillary Clinton.

McCain called Comey "a man of honor and integrity... (who) led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances."

"I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election," the Republican senator said. "The president's decision to remove the FBI director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee."

McCain's GOP colleague, U.S. Jeff Flake, tweeted Tuesday night that "I've spent the last several hours trying to find an acceptable rationale for the timing of Comey's firing. I just can't do it."

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com