‘Troubled’ Burr says Comey’s firing will make Russia probe more difficult

North Carolina’s senior senator, Richard Burr, lamented President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey in a series of early-morning tweets Wednesday.

Burr, a Republican, is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump.

In a forceful statement, Burr praised Comey’s performance and said his firing “further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee.”

Comey had been expected to appear Thursday before the committee. It is not clear whether the now-deposed FBI director will testify.

Other Republican members of Congress were more measured as they weighed in on Comey’s firing.

Sen. Thom Tillis, a Mecklenburg County Republican and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a brief statement:

“Throughout his career, Director Comey has served the nation with distinction, and I have found him to be professional and responsive during my interactions with him. While Director Comey has faced criticism from both Republican and Democratic elected officials, it is my belief he attempted to lead the FBI to the best of his ability given the difficult circumstances before him and the hyperpartisan political climate that exists in Washington.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who has blamed the Russians for interfering in last year’s presidential election, appeared to support Trump’s move.

“Given the recent controversies surrounding the Director, I believe a fresh start will serve the FBI and the nation well,” Graham tweeted.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender