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In response to President Trump's surprising firing Tuesday night of FBI Director James Comey, congressional Republicans largely maintained a united front and resisted calls for a special prosecutor to helm the ongoing investigation into Russia and the election.

However, cracks in that unity began to emerge in the day that followed, with key senators and some vulnerable House members voicing concern over how the White House handled Comey's dismissal.

The family business of Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, wants to build a pair of skyscrapers in a gritty New Jersey neighborhood.

But the Jersey City project faces a number of hurdles.

This week, it ran headlong into a new one — an ethics flap, after Kushner's sister highlighted her family ties to the White House while pitching the development to wealthy Chinese investors. That's prompting closer scrutiny of the project, and the controversial immigrant investor visa program that could help finance it.

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For more reaction, we're joined now by Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks who's in Columbia City, Ind. Welcome to the program, Congressman.

JIM BANKS: It's great to be with you.

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Today, reporters got a chance to ask President Trump why he did it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED JOURNALIST: Why did you fire Director Comey?

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Someone who might be able to relate to Rod Rosenstein right now is George Terwilliger. He was also deputy attorney general. He served under President George H.W. Bush, and he's with us now. Welcome to the show.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein were interviewing four candidates Wednesday to serve as interim FBI director, following the firing of James Comey.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Questions about the abrupt dismissal of FBI Director James Comey swirled on Wednesday, but Comey himself reportedly told staff he would not "spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won't either."

In a farewell letter, Comey said, according to CNN, "It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply." He added:

The White House says President Trump fired James Comey because of how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The president, who campaigned before crowds that chanted, "Lock her up," is telling the American people that he summarily fired the FBI director, by letter, because he went outside Department of Justice protocols in speaking out about the Clinton investigation months ago.

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President Trump's sudden firing of former FBI Director James Comey is sending shock waves through Capitol Hill this morning. And it led to a rare public show of force staged by Democrats on the Senate floor. NPR's Geoff Bennett joins us with the latest. Geoff, good morning.

The president fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday. NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to NPR's Domenico Montanaro and GOP Rep. Chris Stewart, member of the House Intelligence Committee, about the decision. Stewart tells Inskeep that Comey had lost confidence "frankly on both sides of the aisle. ... It was probably appropriate to make a change."

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Fifty thousand signatures on protest petitions. Calls on the president of the university to resign. People on Twitter saying they're mailing back their degrees.

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Seven years before the end of his term, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is out.

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced on Tuesday that he will not run for re-election because of allegations that he sexually abused minors three decades ago.

Murray is a skilled, bare-knuckled politician and it was assumed he would cruise to re-election this year.

But a few weeks ago, he was sued by Delvonn Heckard, 46, who says that back in the 1980s, Murray paid him for sex when Heckard was a minor.

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We're going to get some historical context now to this surprising development today. And to do that, we have NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving. Hello there, Ron.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Kelly.

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