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White House says that FBI Director James Comey has been fired

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.

In a statement, Trump says Comey's firing "will mark a new beginning" for the FBI. The White House says the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.

"The FBI is one of our nation's most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement," Trump said in a statement.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said shortly before 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday that Comey was "notified a short time ago," but declined to say how Comey was notified. Comey's dismissal took effect immediately.

Spicer told reporters that Comey "accepted the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general," who both recommended Comey's "dismissal."

Comey's firing comes days after he testified on Capitol Hill about the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump's campaign.

Comey was appointed FBI director by President Barack Obama in 2013.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) issued this statement:

“Director Comey has served the country well in a number of different roles. Many, including myself, have questioned his actions more than once over the past year. I believe new leadership at the FBI will restore confidence in the organization and among the people who do the hard work to carry out its mission.”