US President Donald Trump has fired the director of the FBI over his handling of the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the administration says.
The White House shocked Washington by announcing that James Comey “has been terminated and removed from office”.
But Democrats said he was fired because the FBI was investigating alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The move came as it emerged Mr Comey gave inaccurate information to Congress last week about Mrs Clinton emails.
Mr Comey was addressing FBI agents in Los Angeles when, according to US media, he learned he had just been fired when he saw the news on television.
The 56-year-old – who was three-and-a-half years into his 10-year term as FBI director – reportedly laughed, thinking it was a prank.
The White House said the search for a successor would begin immediately. It is only the second time the head of the FBI has been fired.