“The president acted in a cowardly fashion. He’s a coward,” Philip Mudd says.
A former FBI and CIA counterterrorism official had harsh words for President Donald Trump over his firing of FBI Director James Comey.
“I don’t think the president exercised bad judgment,” Philip Mudd, now a CNN counterterrorism analyst, said on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday. “I think he’s a coward.”
Comey was fired via a letter from Trump that was delivered while he was out of the office. Comey learned of his ouster from a TV newscast.
“Number one, if you’re gonna fire somebody with this experience, pick up the damn phone. Number two, if you’re going to fire somebody when you get a memo in the morning, don’t tell me the memo was the cause of the firing. That’s a fig leaf. That’s an excuse.”
“The president acted cowardly in this case,” Mudd said. “He should’ve had the courtesy and the humanity to fire a man who’s done great service despite the mistakes he’s made.”
He made similar comments later in the day to Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
“This looks political from the outside. Let me tell you what it looks like as a practitioner,” he said. “This is emotional. The president acted in a cowardly fashion. He’s a coward.”
Mudd, who was deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center and held high-level roles at the FBI and CIA, has often been highly critical of Trump.
In January, he slammed Trump’s speech at CIA headquarters after Trump attacked the media and bragged about his inauguration crowds while standing in front of the Memorial Wall, which honors agents killed in action. Mudd called it “disgusting.”
And last year he called the Trump transition effort a “clown show.”