Clapper: Government 'under assault' by Trump after Comey firing

President Donald Trump.   Associated Press  Evan Vucci

"The Russians did interfere in our election".

Gingrich continued, saying: "We are surrounded by 24-hour a day leaks and I think we are much better off to have these things out in the open", said Gingrich.

When he was asked, "Internally, from the president?" Only 15 percent of respondents said they preferred that the GOP-controlled Congress handle the investigation, which would also look into alleged links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, while only 40 percent of poll respondents said they have at least some confidence in the ability of Congress to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the matter.

He argued that Comey's removal is an assault on a system of checks and balances that is core to American democracy. The new director will nearly certainly have to work to maintain the bureau's credibility by asserting political independence in the face of a president known for demanding loyalty from the people he appoints.

The FBI Agents Association has endorsed former Republican congressman Mike Rogers, an ex-FBI agent who led the House intelligence committee and had collegial relationships with his Democratic counterparts. He dismissed as less desirable at least two of the 14 candidates under consideration, ex-FBI agent and former Rep. Mike Rogers of MI and Sen. Asked whether Rogers or Cornyn would be good choices, Graham flatly said, "no".

Some Republicans and Democrats alike raised alarm bells over Comey's firing, over its timing and the potential reasons behind it.

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee kept up the pressure on the White House over the sudden firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, saying he'd like to see Comey testify at a public session of the panel. I think it might be very healthy for the White House press corps to suddenly not have the daily opportunity to taunt whoever the spokesperson is ... Trump is traveling to Lynchburg, Va., to give the commence ad.

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"They've been vetted over their lifetime essentially, but very well known, highly respected, really talented people". President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media aboard Air Force One before his departure from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Last week, Trump fired Comey, who was leading an investigation into the alleged Russian interference.

President Donald Trump holds a news conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the East Room of the White House on April 12, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The FBI director serves a 10-year term but can be replaced by the president.

Almost a dozen people are being considered, including attorneys, law enforcement officials, and lawmakers. Eight met at the Justice Department on Saturday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.

Among those interviewed was Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI's Richmond, Virginia, office.

One contender who could prove politically palatable is Michael Garcia, a former USA attorney in Manhattan with significant experience in terrorism and public corruption investigations. Comey, for instance, was a former United States Attorney in Manhattan before being appointed deputy attorney general by George W. Bush. -U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Bush appointee who struck down the centerpiece of the Obama administration's health care law in 2010.

- Frances Townsend, a former Bush homeland security and counterterrorism adviser. Fisher and Townsend were the only women on the list of candidates.

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