NEW YORK — President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence shook hands before greeting world leaders in the Oval Office on Wednesday, hours after the president’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.
Trump, who had called Comey’s firing an “unconstitutional usurpation” and called for the special counsel to be fired, said he and Pence discussed the president “saying, ‘You know, I want you to know, if you’re going to continue with that, we will fire you.
We will find somebody else.'”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump and Pence spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron, the White House said.
Trump has been pushing the Russia probe for months, and he has blamed Comey for the probe and Comey for Trump’s election loss.
During the call, Trump said he was “very happy” to have the FBI Director on the phone.
The two leaders “agreed that the American people should know that you have been honest, that you are a true professional, and that you acted professionally and in accordance with the law,” the Whitehouse said.
Pence, speaking on a conference call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called the FBI director a “great man” who “served the country very well.”
“He served the president very well,” Pence said.
“He served in an outstanding capacity.
He was respected by his colleagues.”
Earlier in the day, Trump told reporters he was willing to “fire” Comey and suggested that he was not the only one who felt that way.
“I have people that are saying it,” Trump said.
“They’re not saying that he’s going to be out, or that he might be fired.
They’re not doing that,” he added.
“It’s a political statement.
And I’m saying I’m willing to fire whoever he is.”
Pence called for an independent prosecutor to be appointed in the Russia investigation.
“This president believes that we can hold the Russian government accountable,” he said.