“Outrageous,” said Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia.
"This is Nixonian," said Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.
"We are careening ever closer to a Constitutional crisis,” said Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey.
They were all reacting to President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday night, and they were all alarmed.
Among some Trump voters, the reaction was decidedly different.
“It’s about time,” said Nancy Lee, a Trump voter from California. She said Comey should have been fired long ago for how he handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
We spoke to three Trump voters who support the president’s decision. Among them there was a sense of skepticism over the importance and accuracy of the Russia investigation, as well as a strong distaste for the news media and progressives who they felt were politicizing the issue.
Here are their opinions.
Nancy Lee, age 60, an administrative officer for senior and adult services in California
Most important issue: national security
My exact words were, “It’s about time.” I thought [Comey] should've been gone a long time ago.
As director of the FBI, I feel that it’s his job to make an arrest when the law is broken. But when he was investigating the Hillary Clinton email situation, he came out and said that she didn’t have an intent to break the law. But that’s not his job to determine what her intention was. That’s up to the Justice Department if they want to indict and go further. He was overstepping his responsibilities. And as director of the FBI, that wasn’t what he was supposed to do.
I think the Russia stuff is absurd. I don’t have any access to classified, top-secret intelligence, but based on everything I’ve heard in the news, it just seems like a partisan witch hunt. It just doesn’t sound viable to me. But it is true that they said the same thing about Hillary’s emails and her illegal server.
With the Clinton email scandal, though, there was an actual server located in her house. That’s physical, real evidence that people saw. But with this Russia investigation, I just haven’t seen anything reported where there is proof. I just haven’t seen the physical evidence.
It’s not that it’s a high priority to me to prosecute Clinton. But I do believe she broke the law and she belongs in jail. I was in the military. My significant other was in the military. We understand the difficult process to get a clearance and how important classified information is. If we had done what she did, we’d be in Leavenworth prison.
Why is it that every time something happens, liberals always want to blame someone else? They don’t take responsibility. Comey didn’t do his job. That’s why he was fired. But they always come up with another excuse. This Russia thing, it’s just another excuse. [Sen. Chuck] Schumer was just on TV last night crying about Comey getting fired — but before the election, he was screaming for Comey to get fired. Which is it? What an embarrassment.
[Editor's note: In November, Schumer said that he had "lost confidence" in Comey.]
Bob Schultz, age 69, retired in Georgia
Most important issue: economy and jobs
My initial reaction was surprise. Then I thought, oh, my gosh, here comes the fodder, the hoopla, everyone pointing fingers, complaining, making up stories. But on second though, it’s pretty immaterial.
I don’t know everything about Comey, and he seemed like a nice, upstanding guy. But he wasn’t following the protocol of what the FBI is supposed to do. He brought it on himself. I guess everyone in Washington talks out of both sides of the mouth, but if you go back several years, at one time or another, people on both sides of the aisle wanted him fired. Now they are all freaking out about it.
I think the Russia stuff is BS. But there’s enough static out there. Let them finish it. The FBI’s investigation isn’t going to be shut down, and the people doing the actual grunt work are still there and will continue to do their work. The Senate has got their investigation going on too. Comey being removed doesn’t change anything.
It’s all political now. Schumer made a fool of himself yesterday. But then again, I’ve seen people on the Republican side make a fool of themselves too. That’s why the whole crowd of them need to go. Their time is out.
It’s all a bunch of BS. It’s a continuation of a dysfunctional Washington. They can’t get anything done. It doesn’t bother me one bit. Nothing’s really changed.
I voted for Trump because I was hoping that someone would get in there and stir up this mess and get some of these career politicians fired. That’s on both sides. These career politicians. We need more than two parties — we need third and fourth parties, like the French! I never thought I'd say that we needed to be more French. But there you go.
Mary Jefferson, age 75, a retired teacher in Missouri
Most important issue: religious liberty
I think given the information that I’ve received as to why Trump did what he did, I think it makes perfectly good sense that he fired Comey. I think the Democrats have their hair on fire all the time, trying to raise a ruckus on Trump. They want to get him out office.
I know that the left is concerned about this Russia investigation. But I keep hearing that there is simply no evidence about this collusion. Trump has said there was no collusion as well. So there’s just none of this. This is just the left trying to get him out. They wanted Nixon out before, and now they are looking to do the same thing with Trump. And that’s what they are going for.
Trump was the bottom of my list during the election for Republicans. He wasn’t even on my list in the primary. But I voted for him, and I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by some of the moves he’s made. Other moves I don’t like as much.
The key for me is not to listen to their speeches. That’s not how you see what they are about. I watch what they do.