When the news broke that President Trump had fired James Comey, the former FBI director was addressing a group of FBI employees in Los Angeles. Comey laughed and said it was a prank before his aides confirmed the news, according to a report in the New York Times.
Per the Times:
Mr. Comey was addressing a group of F.B.I. employees in Los Angeles when a television in the background flashed the news that he had been fired.
In response, Mr. Comey laughed, saying he thought it was a fairly funny prank.
Then his staff started scurrying around in the background and told Mr. Comey that he should step into a nearby office.
Trump had dispatched Keith Schiller, a top aide and former bodyguard to Trump, to the FBI to hand deliver the letter notifying Comey of his firing, but the FBI director was out of town.
CNN also reported that Comey first saw the news of his firing on television and made a joke about it before confirming the reports’ validity:
TVs set to cable news inside the room he was speaking began airing reports of his demise midway through his speech. He made a joke about it to lighten the situation, phoned back to FBI headquarters, and received official confirmation that his tenure atop the law enforcement agency was over.