James Comey’s ABC Interview: 5 Highlights
By the time ABC aired an hourlong interview with James B. Comey on Sunday night, his feelings on President Trump were clear: which he was volatile, immoral, fixated on allegations made against him, akin to a mob boss.
When excerpts through Mr. Comey’s forthcoming memoir emerged last week, Mr. Trump pounced, labeling Mr. Comey “weak” as well as an “untruthful slime ball.” He later suggested Mr. Comey deserved jail time.
The disclosures from the book, many of which were amplified in extraordinary detail in Sunday’s interview, were a stunning assault on a sitting president by a former high-ranking law enforcement official.
[Read our full coverage of the interview »]
The ABC interview, conducted by the anchor George Stephanopoulos as well as filmed at Mr. Comey’s Virginia home, was the first major interview the former F.B.I. director has granted since his firing last May.
The book, which is usually to be released on Tuesday, has remained atop Amazon’s best-seller list for weeks, as well as the interview was the beginning of an extensive media as well as speaking tour.
[Read our review of the memoir »]
Here are 5 notable moments through Sunday’s program.
Mr. Comey thinks a meeting he had with Mr. Trump could be evidence of obstruction of justice.
Mr. Comey says which Mr. Trump asked him to drop the F.B.I.’s investigation of Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, after a White House meeting with Mr. Trump as well as various other senior officials. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Comey says, the president asked everyone from the room to clear out, save for Mr. Comey.
The request, Mr. Comey recalled from the interview, was too brazen to be spontaneous.
“Why am I alone if he doesn’t know the nature of the request?” Mr. Comey said.
Mr. Stephanopoulos pointed out which Mr. Trump denied he had made the request.
“Yeah, well, what am I going to do? He did,” Mr. Comey said flatly.
Mr. Stephanopoulos asked if which scene from the White House constituted obstruction of justice.
“Possibly,” Mr. Comey said. “I mean, the idea’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.”
He thought his firing was a “crazy” move by Mr. Trump.
“which makes no sense at all,” Mr. Comey recalled from the Sunday interview of his reaction to the news of his firing last May.
“I thought, ‘the idea’s crazy to fire me.’ I’m leading the investigation of Russian influence.”
When he saw news the same week which Mr. Trump had met with Russian officials from the Oval Office as well as called Mr. Comey a “nut job,” Mr. Comey said he saw right through the idea.
“Wow, was my reaction,” he said. “First of all, what are the Russians doing from the Oval Office? One, as a counterintelligence person, I’m thinking, ‘which’s crazy,’ without any Americans being present, one. as well as, two, the pretense is usually melting away.”
He said firing Robert Mueller would certainly be “the most serious attack yet on the rule of law.”
Mr. Stephanopoulos asked Mr. Comey what he would certainly think if Mr. Trump were to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
“the idea would certainly I wish set off alarm bells which This kind of is usually his most serious attack yet on the rule of law,” Mr. Comey said. “which is usually higher than all the normal fights about policy.”
Toward the end of Sunday’s broadcast, Mr. Stephanopoulos said the idea was stunning which Mr. Comey could not rule out the possibility which Russia has compromising material on the president.
“the idea is usually stunning, as well as I wish I wasn’t saying the idea, nevertheless the idea’s just, the idea’s the truth,” Mr. Comey said.
He stands by his handling of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Mr. Comey used several portions of the interview to defend his decisions about revealing the closing as well as reopening of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Having announced an end to the inquiry in July 2016, Mr. Comey revealed on Oct. 28, just days before the election, which the F.B.I. was again investigating the case.
Those days leading up to the election “sucked,” Mr. Comey said. “I walked around vaguely sick to my stomach, feeling beaten down.”
Asked to address the fierce criticism he received for the move, Mr. Comey said Americans would certainly benefit through stepping into his shoes as well as considering the options he had.
“What I would certainly wish is usually which they would certainly, by reading the book, come with me to Oct. 28. Come with me, as well as sit there with me,” he said.
would certainly he have still sent the letter, Mr. Stephanopoulos asked, if he knew the idea would certainly get Mr. Trump elected? Mr. Comey said he would certainly have.
“If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done,” Mr. Comey said of the F.B.I. “We’re just another player from the tribal battle.”
He said Mr. Trump was “morally unfit” to be president.
Asked if he believes Mr. Trump is usually unfit for office, Mr. Comey was quick to say yes, nevertheless not for reasons of his mental state.
Instead, Mr. Comey called Mr. Trump “morally unfit.”
“A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about as well as treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big as well as little as well as insists the American people believe the idea — which person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” Mr. Comey said.