As President Donald Trump raised eyebrows Tuesday after firing FBI Director James Comey, members of the South Carolina delegation weighed in.
The decision comes nearly a week after Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Hearing, where he revealed that Russians are still involved in American politics beyond the recent presidential election.
Here’s what some members of the South Carolina delegation had to say:
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy
Gowdy, who encouraged Comey to investigate intelligence leaks to U.S. newspaper organizations in a House Intelligence hearing in March, said Comey has faced tough challenges.
“Director Comey had a very difficult job,” Gowdy said in an email. “I appreciate his service to our country as both a federal prosecutor and the head of the FBI. I had my differences with him on some matters but never lost sight of the fact that he had a very difficult job and undoubtedly had access to facts that perhaps the rest of us did not.
“I am thankful for his service to our country and am hopeful our president will select an independent-minded person to serve as the head of our nation’s premier law enforcement agency. Our justice system is the foundation of our republic. It must be both respected and fully worthy of our respect.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham
Graham also called the decision “difficult.” He chaired a Senate Judiciary Hearing Monday where former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates revealed she warned the White House that Trump’s then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was vulnerable to Russian blackmail.
“I know this was a difficult decision for all concerned. I appreciate Director Comey’s service to our nation in a variety of roles. Given the recent controversies surrounding the director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well. I encourage the president to select the most qualified professional available who will serve our nation’s interests.”
Republican Sen. Tim Scott
Scott focused on the future of the FBI.
“I want to personally thank Director Comey for his service. Moving ahead we need to work on finding a capable replacement that can take the reins and lead our brave men and women serving in the FBI,” Scott said by email.
Republican Rep. Joe Wilson
Wilson lauded Trump’s decision.
“Given the recent controversy surrounding the director and his decisions, I fully respect the president’s decision to terminate him and commend Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his courageous recommendation. I know the president will select a qualified replacement that will restore the public trust in the FBI,” Wilson said by email.
Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn
Clyburn echoed his fellow Democrats in calling for an independent investigation into Russian collusion.
“The firing of the FBI Director by President Trump underscores anew the need for an independent investigation of the Trump/Russia mess,” Clyburn said.
Republican Reps. Jeff Duncan, Tom Rice, Mark Sanford
Duncan declined to comment Tuesday. Attempts to reach Republican Rep. Tom Rice and Republican Rep. Mark Sanford went unanswered.
This story will update.