Ousted FBI director James Comey was addressing bureau employees in Los Angeles when he found out he was fired … by watching it on TV, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
While Comey spoke, TV screens in the background started flashing the news. A letter delivered to FBI Headquarters in Washington came soon after.
“No one saw it coming,” former special agent M. Quentin Williams told TheWrap. “Nobody knew anything.”
Comey was in town for an FBI diversity recruiting event in Hollywood, which was scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. PT. The Los Angeles bureau would not comment on whether or not Comey intended to attend the event, however at just after scheduled start time, Comey was filmed by news media leaving for Washington, D.C. from LAX.
The event has been billed as a chance to “attend a recruiting event that offers you a rare opportunity to meet FBI Director James Comey, receive personal career counseling from FBI Special Agents,” according to the event’s website.
President Trump abruptly fired Comey on Tuesday over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer wrote in a statement.
The statement went on to say that a search for a new FBI director will begin “immediately.”
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Trump wrote in a separate letter to Comey.