President Trump has asked FBI Director James Comey to stay on the job, according to Comey himself.
When Comey met with the president at Trump Tower earlier this month, Trump said he hoped the director would remain in charge of the federal government’s top law enforcement agency.
Comey relayed the news to senior FBI staff, according to multiple sources.
By keeping Comey, Trump would spare himself from a potentially volatile conformation battle on top of the fight he’s already facing next week when he announces his Supreme Court pick to fill the seat left by the late Antonin Scalia.
“Yes, he has confidence in Director Comey,” Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said. “We have had a great relationship with him over the last several weeks. He’s extremely competent.”
“But, look, his term extends for some time yet. There’s no plans at the moment in changing that term.”
Unless fired, FBI directors serve a 10-year term under federal law and Comey was appointed by former President Obama in 2013.
Hillary Clinton blamed Comey for her election loss after he reopened the investigation into her misuse of classified emails less than two weeks before the election.
Comey told Congress he reopened the case because new, related emails were discovered on a laptop used by former Congressman Anthony Weiner who was under FBI investigation for reportedly soliciting sex from a minor.
Weiner was then married to Clinton insider Huma Abedin.
Other insiders said that Clinton would have asked Comey to resign if she was elected, despite the political ramifications.