It seemed like Trump's best friend in late October 2016 was James Comey:

"I was not his fan, but I'll tell you what: What he did, he brought back his reputation. He brought it back."

"A lot of people want him to do the wrong thing. What he did was the right thing."

"It took guts for Director Comey to make the move (publicize the FBI's investigation into Hillary's emails)... It took a lot of guts."

"I have to give the FBI credit." - Donald Trump

Now in May 2017 Trump has fired Comey and I have to wonder what happened between October and May to make Trump's attitude change so much.

Which actions persuaded Trump to fire Comey?

  • 7
    This isn't a good question for the Stack Exchange format. The only person who knows the answer is Trump himself - anything else would be speculation. People on one side of the political spectrum will point to the ongoing Russia investigation. People on the other will point to the Clinton email investigation and his recent testimony on it. But it's also very possible that they had some conversation we aren't privy to where Comey accidentally (or intentionally) insulted Trump, and the firing is revenge for that. We just don't know.
    – Bobson
    May 15, 2017 at 5:31
  • 3
    Do you really have to wonder what happened between then and now? I mean, it's pretty obvious, isn't it? Trump pretty much said what it was.
    – user1530
    May 15, 2017 at 5:55
  • 2
    @blip: But Trump or his spokespeople have given a number of different reasons. Which do you prefer?
    – jamesqf
    May 15, 2017 at 5:58
  • 4
    @jamesqf the obvious one. :)
    – user1530
    May 15, 2017 at 6:08
  • 4
    I don't know why questions like this get flagged as opinion. It's fairly obvious that something happened between Trump and Comey and some of that was made public. @user4012 gave a nice comment. The difficulty with questions like this isn't opinion but that mostly we don't know all the details that goes in in private meetings. On the occasion where valid information comes out, this question becomes answerable but it can't be answered because it's closed.
    – userLTK
    Sep 19, 2018 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) have a skewed perception of the world, with an extreme need for admiration and validation. Because of this, they have extreme difficulty with relating to other humans in a healthy way (via empathy). Instead, they only care that the other person 'feels' empathized-with and thus will continue to remain within the narcissist's circle of influence.

James Comey was undeniably an asset when he made the decision to reveal the investigation into Hillary's email server right before the election. He validated Trump's sincerely-held beliefs that Hillary was a criminal who deserved to go to jail. As such, Trump held Comey very close.

However, when it became obvious that Comey was not choosing to join Trump's inner circle (via the loyalty conversation in early 2017), Trump took it as a personal, not professional blow. Rather than see it as Comey being very serious about his job, he chose to see it as Comey 'turning' on him.

When the beginnings of the Russia Investigation began to surface (and thus the fact that the FBI had been investigating Trump's cohorts without telling Trump), Comey's value to Trump as a prize to be paraded around became less than his liability as a non-sycophant, and he was tossed away at Trump's first opportunity.

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