An unexpected display of support for fired FBI Director James Comey, with employees spotted wearing #ComeyIsMyHomey t-shirts, took place at the bureau’s Family Day in Washington.
Family Day is for FBI employees, friends and families to visit the US intelligence service and take part in activities including SWAT demonstrations.
Mr Comey has been called an unpopular and ineffective leader of the FBI by Donald Trump. But this unscheduled display of affection for the ousted chief demonstrates that many still support him.
At least a dozen people wore matching #ComeyIsMyHomey shirts, according to social media posts. The identity of the Comey backers was kept hidden, however, as the images did not show their faces.
One supporter tweeted: “Come on Jim Comey. We need you man! Lordy, we need you!”
Another hoped Mr Trump would also receive support. Ron ‘Thug’ Hall tweeted: “Don’t Sweat It, Donald, I’m Sure Ivanka/Jared Would Wear #TrumpIsMyHomey.”
The former director was sacked by the US President in May for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The White House released a statement saying: “President Donald J Trump informed FBI director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office.
“President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and attorney general Jeff Sessions.”
Mr Trump later told NBC he planned to fire Mr Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s recommendation over the Russia investigation.
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Richard Burr, who led the Senate intelligence committee investigation into Russia’s alleged influence over the presidential election in 2016, said: “I have found director Comey to be a public servant of the highest order, and his dismissal further confuses an already difficult investigation by the committee.”
Many within the bureau were alarmed at Mr Trump’s dismissal of Mr Comey. Bobby Chacon, a former FBI agent, said the decision was like a “punch in the stomach to agents”.
Other former agents said the way Mr Comey was fired was an “outrage” and said that the Trump administration’s approach “besmirches the reputation of the FBI”.