TN politician commentary on Comey (‘Big distraction,’ says Haslam)

A roundup of some comments on former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before a congressional committee Thursday:

From Gov. Bill Haslam and former Gov. Don Sundquist, via WBIR TV:

“To me, the big issue, to me, is all of this ends up being such a big distraction,” Haslam said. “Forget your politics, which side you are on, Democrat or Republican, the unfortunate reality of this is you have something like this going on around you, you are not very effective at delivering good government.”

Haslam said from what he knows now, he does not think President Trump obstructed justice. Former governor Don Sundquist agreed.

“I learned that [President Donald] Trump is not a candidate for prosecution,” Sundquist said. “Comey, I think, is distressed over the fact he was fired. He was embarrassed, and a president has the right to name their own person.”

U.S. Rep. Diane Black (press release)

“President Trump made the right call firing former FBI Director Comey last month – especially after events from this past year put our national security at risk. The hypocrisy from the Democrats proves they will do anything to attack this Administration and undermine its decisions. Comey’s removal was the right move for the United States and I look forward to working with the new director to restore the American people’s trust in the FBI.”

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (via Nashville Post)

“Comey’s testimony was alarming. The American people deserve to know the truth, and I’m glad Robert Mueller is leading the investigation into these matters. Meanwhile, we shouldn’t get too distracted. For example, I’m concerned another bad health care repeal bill could slip through the Senate without any open hearings. And Republican leadership canceled congressional business Friday so we can all fly home early. Congress needs to be working on important issues.”

Excerpts from a Times Free Press roundup:

U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., declared in a statement he was unimpressed, saying the “hearing made clear that Donald Trump has never been under investigation, nor did the President interfere with one.

“The Comey Show is a flop, and Democrats are going to need a new excuse for Hillary Clinton’s election loss,” the South Pittsburg congressman said. “They should start with Hillary Clinton.”

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement he is “glad former Director Comey appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee today and [I] appreciate his cooperation as my colleagues on the committee continue their investigation.

“Both the committee and the recently appointed special counsel are doing important work to get to the bottom of Russian interference in our election, and I hope the investigations will be completed in a swift and thorough manner,” the Chattanooga senator said.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., called it “important for Mr. Comey to testify in public, and it is important that the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence continue its investigation into Russian interference in our elections.”

Alexander said he intends to “review all of the facts when the committee’s investigation is complete.”

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., said, “I still maintain the director of the FBI serves at the pleasure of the President and that Trump had every right to fire Director Comey.

“What is more important right now is for Robert Mueller to be allowed time to conduct a thorough investigation of Russia’s involvement in our elections and for the Senate to act expeditiously to consider President Trump’s nominee for FBI director who appears to be qualified, respected and impartial,” the Chattanooga congressman added.

Note: The Tennessean collected tweets from some Democratic and Republican state legislators on Comey HERE.

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