Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) accused FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday of showing "hubris" with his letter to Congress announcing the reopened FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server, adding people in his position should "keep your mouth shut" until knowing the facts.
Clinton and her supporters have been on the attack against Comey since Friday's letter sent shockwaves into the 2016 campaign. Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who gushed about Comey's unquestioned competence in July, now accuses him of violating federal law.
Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist, pointing out the avalanche of praise from top Democrats for Comey after he did not recommend charges against Clinton, asked McCaskill why she thought Comey sent the letter.
"What would be his motivation?" Geist asked. "Because he knew this letter to Congress is going to be leaked immediately, and this was going to become a huge story that could impact the campaign. Why did he do it?"
"Well, there may be some hubris involved here," McCaskill said. "I think one of the things he did in the summer that people in the Justice Department were scratching their heads about was the press conference where he opined about how he thought Hillary Clinton had handled things badly. That's not typically what the head of a law enforcement agency does."
McCaskill said Comey's public remarks on the matter "made everyone uncomfortable." Comey, in addition to debunking Clinton's oft-repeated claim that she never had classified emails on her server, also said Clinton was "extremely careless" with classified information.
"But why did he do it this time?" Geist asked again.
"I think he was worried about how he would look, and by the way, he's got the big job," McCaskill said. "Anybody's who been a prosecutor in a major metropolitan area will tell you this, or even in a small community. These decisions are hard, but that's why you have to stay married to the facts and keep your mouth shut until you're sure what they are."