WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump defended his firing of FBI Director James Comey, asserting in a flurry of tweets Wednesday that Republicans and Democrats "will be thanking me." Trump did not mention any effect the firing might have on the probe into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia.

Instead, Trump tweeted that he'll name a replacement "who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI."

Nevertheless, Tuesday's abrupt firing throws into question the future of the investigation into the Trump campaign's possible connections to Russia and immediately raised suspicions of an underhanded effort to stymie a probe that has shadowed the administration from the outset. Trump has ridiculed the investigations as "a hoax" and denied any campaign involvement with the Russians.

Democrats likened Comey's ouster to President Richard Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" and renewed calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor, and some Republicans also questioned the move.

In a flurry of tweets, Trump said Comey had "lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington," adding: "When things calm down, they will be thanking me!"

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