Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) is furious that President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The congressman called the move "a terrifying signal of this administration's continued abuse of power on so many levels" in a statement Tuesday.
But the New York Democrat did not mention in his statement that last year he called for then-President Barack Obama to fire the FBI chief for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Nadler was confronted with his prior comments during a CNN interview on Wednesday.
Host Brianna Keilar mentioned that the Trump administration is claiming Comey was fired for his performance, particularly his handling of the Clinton email probe. She then played for Nadler comments he made shortly after the 2016 election, when he criticized Comey and called for his ouster.
"What Jim Comey did was so highly improper and wrong. From the very beginning in July, he was putting his thumb on the scales right then. And it's unforgivable for a police agency to opine, frankly, publicly about legal conduct," Nadler said in November. "The president ought to fire Comey immediately, and he ought to initiate an investigation."
Keilar asked Nadler to respond to his own comments.
"You were upset at that time about Director Comey and how he had been very public about the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of her private email server, her private email while secretary of state, just so that our audience is aware," Keilar said. "And then that he had said just several days before the election raised this question of looking back into the investigation."
"So why?" Keilar asked. "You wanted him fired then."
Nadler defended his past comments by saying the context has changed since Trump is now president and his campaign is under investigation.
"Yes, I thought then and I think now that what he did last year was very wrong, but that was last year," Nadler said.
The FBI is currently investigating alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.