Condoleezza Rice says US will weather political storm over Comey firing

Rice: We have institutions to get through this
Rice: We have institutions to get through this

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Rice: We have institutions to get through this 02:03

Story highlights

  • Rice calls James Comey "honorable" but doesn't comment on details of firing
  • She urges White House to be "candid" but says people shouldn't jump to conclusions

(CNN)Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that United States will weather the political firestorm following President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey

"I'm confident that we have the institutions to get through what we're going through right now we," Rice told Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day." "We have a Congress that is a check on the executive. We have courts that are a check on the executive. We have a press that is constantly reporting on the executive."
Comey's dismissal sent shockwaves throughout Washington. The FBI chief was leading a probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and alleged ties between Russia and Trump's campaign.
"I've also seen America go through a lot. ... I think we always get to the bottom of it," Rice said.
The former secretary of state did not comment on details of the Comey firing.
"I don't know the specifics of what happened here. I can tell you that I know Jim Comey, and I just want to say to him, 'Thanks for your service.' He is an honorable person," Rice said. "I can't speak to what mistakes he may have made or may not have made."
Rice's comments come after mounting concern from Democrats and some top Republicans that Comey's firing could interfere with an independent and impartial Russia investigation. Some Democrats have called for a special prosecutor to handle the probe.
"I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey's termination," Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said in a statement Tuesday.
Rice expressed full confidence that the Senate intelligence committee could reach a nonpartisan conclusion in the Russia probe, saying, "Nobody's going to be afraid to speak."
In another probe in the House, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, bowed out last month as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, citing the filing of ethics complaints against him alleging he violated terms of discussing classified material following a meeting at the White House.
Rice urged the Trump White House to be transparent with the American people.
"I think the administration is going to be well-served by being as candid as possible with the American people. I think that's warranted and desired and needed here, but no one should -- we should all try not to jump to conclusions about what happened."
Cuomo, Conway spar over Trump letter
Cuomo, Conway spar over Trump letter

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Cuomo, Conway spar over Trump letter 02:20
Meanwhile, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway denied Wednesday that Trump's decision to fire Comey was related to the Russia probe. In an interview with "New Day," Conway said the move came after Comey lost the confidence of FBI employees and "people on both sides of the partisan aisle."