- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 18, 2018

President Trump made a “big mistake” when he fired FBI boss James Comey, former White House chief strategist and senior counselor Steve Bannon said in an interview aired Friday.

A top Trump administration official at the time of Mr. Comey‘s termination, Mr. Bannon told MSNBC that he correctly predicted the president would prompt the appointment of a special counsel by firing the former FBI director in May 2017.

“I thought it was a big mistake and I thought it would lead to a special counsel,” Mr. Bannon said in an interview.

“I think if the Comey investigation had been allowed to continue, it would have taken another couple of months and wrapped up,” Mr. Bannon added.

Appointed by former President Barack Obama to a 10-year term in 2013, Mr. Comey was conducting a federal investigation into the 2016 election, and particularly Russia’a alleged involvement in Mr. Trump‘s victory, when he was abruptly terminated. The Department of Justice subsequently appointed Robert Mueller, Mr. Comey‘s predecessor, to resume the bureau’s Russia probe, and that investigation has resulted already in criminal charges against more than 30 people, including more than a dozen Russian nationals and several former members of Mr. Trump‘s 2016 election campaign.

Explaining his reasoning for firing Mr. Comey, the president previously said his decision was spurred by “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia,” calling it a “made-up story” and “an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.’”

Mr. Mueller’s office has since widened the special counsel’s Russia probe to examine whether Mr. Trump may have obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey, according to multiple news reports.

Mr. Bannon, 64, left the White House last August and briefly assumed his former job as executive chairman of Breitbart News. He is a “witness of fact” for both the collusion and obstruction issues under investigation by the special counsel’s office, he told MSNBC.

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