MSNBC host Peter Alexander asked Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) on Wednesday if she supported President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey given her previous assertion that Comey had "no credibility."
The question triggered an animated response from Waters, who castigated the president's decision as an effort to disrupt the FBI's investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Waters said she did not necessarily support Comey's firing, but was troubled by Trump dismissing him in the midst of an ongoing FBI probe into the president's links to Russia. If a hypothetical President Hillary Clinton would have fired Comey, however, Waters indicated that she would have supported the decision.
"You believe it would have been better to keep in place an FBI director who you said had no credibility to oversee this investigation than to find someone who you think would be a better choice?" Alexander asked Waters.
Waters said she did not think so but that Trump did.
"No, but I believe the president thought that," Waters said before citing how Trump previously supported Comey.
"But you said he had no credibility, so it would seem to make sense that he should get rid of him," Alexander followed up.
Waters refuted Alexander's comment, indicating that she was outraged by the timing of Comey's dismissal rather than the fact that he was fired.
"This president basically has interfered with an investigation where he may be implicated. That's outrageous!" Waters said.
Alexander again challenged Waters on her previous statement, in an apparent attempt to trip up the California Democrat.
"The bottom line is that you think an FBI director without credibility would have been best served in this position to try to pursue this investigation," Alexander said.
Waters responded by arguing that Trump's actions did not "pass the smell test."
She also contended that it would have been appropriate for Hillary Clinton, as president, to fire Comey given how he treated her during the 2016 election.
"If she had won the White House, I believe that given what did he to her, and what he tried to do, she should have fired him. Yes," Waters argued.
"So she should have fired him but he shouldn't fire him. This is why I'm confused," Alexander responded.
Waters reiterated that Trump should not have fired Comey during the "middle" of the Russia investigation.