'President Putin can fire anybody': Federal official says Comey ouster is absolutely about Russia
FBI Director James Comey

A senior law enforcement official who asked not to be named told The Daily Beast late on Tuesday that President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey to protect himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


“President Putin can fire anybody. If Putin can put Trump in the White House, he can get rid of the FBI director," the official told the Beast's Michael Daly.

The official said, “Basically [Trump] is saying, ‘I’m firing Comey for doing the things that got me elected because I’m afraid people are going to find out who did the rest of the things to get me elected.'”

"The things that got Trump elected being Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail case. The other things being the Russian interference in the election," said Daly.

The official looked askance at the Trump administration's public statement that Comey was fired over his handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State.

“If that’s the case, then why the f—- did you wait five and a half months to fire him?” the official said. “The real reason is he’s inching closer to Trump. He’s getting uncomfortably close to people who are uncomfortably close.”

Furthermore, he said, Trump rushed out the news in an arguably successful attempt to turn the conversation away from why his administration waited as long as it did to fire disgraced national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

“Five-thirty on a Tuesday?” he asked. “Whatever happened to five-thirty on a Friday?”

Daly said that it's highly unlikely that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein took it upon himself to write the 6-page firing memo and that the deputy was more likely acting at the White House's behest. Rosenstein is acting on the matter because Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions has recused himself from matters pertaining to Russia and the president due to his own record of fabrications and omissions regarding his own interactions with agents of the Russian government like purported spymaster and current Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.