Tester, Daines disagree on firing

Jon Tester

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester

Montana’s U.S. senators disagreed Tuesday night on the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said in a statement: “No one is above being held accountable, not even the President of the United States. The FBI has a long history of playing a critical role in investigating matters of national security. I am deeply concerned that this decision will result in an abandonment of the FBI’s ongoing efforts and it underscores the urgent need for an independent investigation.”

Tester in February called for an independent investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. The Trump administration has denied that Russia had anything to do with the decision to fire Comey, whose FBI was conducting its own investigation of the Russian allegations.

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., supported the firing. In a two-sentence press release, he said, ““Director Comey has lost the confidence and respect of both sides of the aisle including the organization he was charged with leading. I look forward to new leadership that will regain public trust and restore integrity to the FBI.”

According to the FiveThirtyEight website, Daines has backed Trump’s position on issues 97 percent of the time since Trump was elected. He has disagreed with Trump only once, on the May 4 appropriations bill for the 2017 fiscal year.

The leading candidates to replace Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Democrat Rob Quist and Republican Greg Gianforte, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday night.

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