Rep. Maxine Waters' confusing interview on James Comey's firing throws MSNBC host for a loop

Rep. Maxine Waters of California attempted to criticize President Donald Trump's recent firing of FBI director James Comey, but managed to enter a confusing verbal joust with MSNBC's Peter Alexander on Wednesday afternoon.

Asked by Alexander to clarify comments she made about Comey months ago, in which she said "the FBI director has no credibility," Waters offered a puzzling explanation.

"No, but I believe the President thought that — don't forget, you're talking about what some Democrats said, what I said ... he was the president. The president supported [Comey], he had confidence in him, it was within his power."

While Trump offered copious praise for Comey before and after the 2016 election — and especially when Comey announced a renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails in October — Democrats railed against him, with many calling for his ouster.

During Waters' interview on Wednesday, the congresswoman suggested that, in her view, it was wrong for Trump to fire Comey, but if a President Hillary Clinton had done so, it would have been justified.

"So she should've fired him, but he shouldn't have fired him — this is why I'm confused," Alexander told Waters.

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Reaction to Trump's firing of James Comey
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Reaction to Trump's firing of James Comey
But does anyone seriously believe @realDonaldTrump fired the top person investigating his ties to Russia because he was unfair to Hillary?
Trump firing Comey shows how frightened the Admin is over Russia investigation
Gov. John Kasich statement on James Comey https://t.co/Wrwj6sGqnz
Removal of Director Comey only confirms need for select cmte to investigate #Russia's interference in 2016 election https://t.co/LfKlwSw6iQ
EVERYONE who cares about independence & rule of law in America should be "troubled by the timing and reasoning" of… https://t.co/NZY4qh3uiz
This is Nixonian. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein must immediately appoint a special prosecutor to continue the Trump/Russia investigation.
Firing of Comey tainted by extraordinary conflict of interest. Independent prosecutor must be appointed to restore… https://t.co/lXBIJtTf18
First Pres Trump fired Sally Yates, then Preet Bharara. Now #Comey. Doesn't seem like an accident. We must have a special prosecutor.
If we don't get a special prosecutor, every American will rightfully suspect that the decision to fire #Comey was part of a cover-up.
We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis.
Comey's fired, which means Trump must be one of the few people in DC that the FBI doesn't have something on.
My statement on James Comey https://t.co/NWBR8FGTCf
Elijah Cummings is calling for "immediate emergency hearings". https://t.co/iMsNmdPmHi
LEAHY: "This is nothing less than Nixonian." https://t.co/n4R4fWSgib
Sen. John McCain on Comey firing: "I regret that that took place. The president does have that authority, so I resp… https://t.co/pSEu3XXsj5
Statement on FBI Director Comey ➡ https://t.co/vB822Nw5OR
This should not be sugar coated. Firing Comey is up there in terms of the scariest things Trump has done.
I am troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination.
My staff and I are reviewing legislation to establish an independent commission on Russia. The second paragraph of… https://t.co/qcm1PiFkNG
Ds were against Comey before they were for him.
U.S. Senator Susan Collins’ Statement on Director Comey #mepolitics https://t.co/LHCcbPJMsb https://t.co/xNUeGvENlv
Firing Comey has the foul stench of an attempt to stop an ongoing investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
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"No, you're not confused," Waters replied. "If the president is implicated in an investigation, the president ... who has a history of firing people who get close to him and his allies like Flynn and like Ms. Yates, he will fire them if he believes somehow that it's getting too close to him in these investigations."

"This president basically has interfered with an investigation where he may be implicated," Waters said. "That's outrageous! The bottom line is I think if the president had fired him when he first came in, he would not have to be in a position now where he's trying to make up a story about why; it does not meet the smell-test," she said.

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SEE ALSO: 'I think the president lost patience': Paul Ryan defends Trump's decision to fire Comey

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