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Trump fires Comey, and the search for a new FBI director begins

Also on the Daily Trump Tracker: New data shows what pushed Trump to his election win in November, while the President agrees to arm Syrian Kurds


 

The search for a new FBI director begins

Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey on Tuesday, a major turn of events that comes a week after Comey testified on Capitol Hill that the FBI is investigating any potential links between Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials prior to last year’s election.

“The president has accepted the recommendation of the Attorney General and the deputy Attorney General regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. It’s unclear at the moment why, exactly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would make such a recommendation.

In his dismissal letter, Trump wrote that Comey was “not able to effectively lead the bureau.”

Up in arms

Donald Trump wants Islamic State out of Raqqa, Syria, and he’s willing to arm Syrian Kurds—even if it angers Turkey. The New York Times reported on Trump giving the Pentagon the green light to get heavy weaponry to the Syrian Kurds despite objections from NATO ally Turkey, which claims the beneficiaries of the new weaponry are linked to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party—an enemy of both Turkey and America. But the Kurds are also some of Syria’s best fighters against ISIS. “We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” a Pentagon spokeswoman said.

Comey’s correction

FBI director James Comey has some explaining to do, after it came to light that some of his testimony at last week’s Senate judiciary committee was not entirely accurate—namely, the part where he said that a Hillary Clinton aide “forwarded hundreds and thousands of emails, some of which contain classified information.”

In fact, the bulk of the emails that ended up on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, husband to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, were because of a computer backup—and from that group came 10 emails with classified info. However, only two forwarded emails contained classified information. The FBI plans to clarify the matter in a letter to Congress.

Logging in

It’s tough to know who, exactly, is making trips to the White House to visit President Trump when his administration has opted against releasing any visitor logs. But to keep an unofficial tally in the interim, Politico created its own database based on media reports and any publicly available information. So, who’s getting face time with Trump? For the most part, it’s rich white Republican men.

Why Trump won: Cultural Anxiety edition

It wasn’t about Americans feeling poorer, though that probably didn’t hurt, but new data from the Public Religion Research Institute found that Trump’s biggest asset en route to victory was cultural anxiety. From the data, the best predictor of a Trump voter was “feeling like a stranger in America, supporting the deportation of immigrants, and hesitating about educational investment,” according to the Atlantic. And there was no shortage of white working class voters who fit that bill.


 

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