- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 15, 2017

The incoming White House chief of staff said Sunday that President-elect Donald Trump does not plan to replace FBI Director James B. Comey despite increasingly public calls from Democrats that Mr. Comey should resign.

“There’s no plans in this moment of changing that,” Reince Priebus said Sunday in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’ve had a great relationship with him over the last several weeks and he’s extremely competent.”

Mr. Comey, who began a 10-year-term as FBI director in 2013, weathered blistering criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike during the presidential race.

Republicans balked at his conclusion in July that the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s secret email setup did not warrant criminal prosecution. When he notified Congress two weeks before the Nov. 8 election that the investigation had to be reopened, making his earlier sworn testimony obsolete, Democrats cried foul and some have blamed him for Mrs. Clinton’s defeat.

He also came under fire from the left for not doing more during the campaign to investigate Russian email hacks at the Democratic National Committee. The hack led to WikiLeaks publishing DNC emails that exposed efforts to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s primary rival, Sen. Bernard Sanders.

Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent and self-described socialist who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he wants to see Mr. Comey step down.

“I think he should take a hard look at what he has done and I think it would not be a bad thing for the American people if he did step down,” he said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

Mr. Comey also was lambasted by Capitol Hill Democrats at a closed-door, all-member briefing Friday, which included calls for his resignation.

“All I can tell you is the FBI director has no credibility,” Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, told reporters after the meeting.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was DNC chief at the time and forced to resign over the WikiLeaks disclosures, confronted Mr. Comey at the contentious meeting, according to the Associated Press

Although the FBI director is appointed to a 10-year term, the president can remove him without cause. Should Mr. Comey resign, as some Democrats say they want, Mr. Trump would get to pick a new FBI director.

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