WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. 

"Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office," Spicer said in a statement. "President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions."

"The FBI is one of our nation's most cherished and respected institutions and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement," Spicer said. 

Spicer said the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.

The firing comes as the FBI is investigating any Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and any Russian ties to Trump associates. 

Senator James Lankford, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement: 

James Comey had an incredibly difficult job in his role as FBI Director and I am grateful for his service. The issues that our law enforcement, intelligence community, and congressional committees deal with each day are very sensitive and have life or death implications. Director Comey has been the public face representing thousands of committed law enforcement officers and civil servants within the intelligence community. In the days ahead, the American people need clarity and deserve an explanation for his immediate firing. It is unfortunate that over the past year the Director had lost the trust of so many people on both sides of the aisle. It is now important that the Senate confirm the next FBI Director with a thorough and fair process."