Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

James Comey's final judgment of Donald Trump was devastating - and rather ironic

James Comey's final judgment of Donald Trump was devastating - and rather ironic

"Now in hindsight, given the challenges I had with President Trump and his frustrations that I wouldn't publicly say he's not under investigation, I think the better argument is it was a mistake". And I'm about to talk to him about allegations that he was involved with prostitutes in Moscow and that the Russians taped it and have leverage over him. I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. The president began assailing Comey even before the interview came out.

Trump abruptly fired Comey in May, and Trump's tweet summarizing his overall perspective on Comey comes as no surprise: "Slippery James Comey, a man who always ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!"

When Stephanopoulos asked Comey, "was President Trump obstructing justice?"

Comey also defended his decision to publicly disclose the FBI's re-opening of its investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's handling of email when she was secretary of state. "Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers", Trump tweeted.

"A Higher Loyalty" will be released on Tuesday, and Comey's media tour continues throughout the week with appearances on "Good Morning America", "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert", "The View" and other outlets. Their war of words escalated Monday after Comey labeled Trump "morally unfit" for office.

What Michelson found telling was Comey saying that the public is duty bound to vote Mr. Trump out of office, and that he doesn't favor impeachment because that would just let the American people off the hook. 3 presidents are in my book: "2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint", he wrote on his Twitter account.

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch pushed back against Comey's criticism in the book that, early in the Clinton email inquiry, she had instructed him to refer to it as a "matter" rather than an "investigation".

According to the transcript and video of the interview posted online, Comey describes warning Trump about what may be the most infamous allegation in a dossier of claims involving Trump and Russian Federation, parts of which remain unverified.

The James Comey interview isn’t George Stephanopoulos’ only feat of the month. Nicholas Hunt  Getty Images
The James Comey interview isn’t George Stephanopoulos’ only feat of the month. Nicholas Hunt Getty Images

He said Trump "will stain everyone around him".

"If colleagues of ours believe I am lying about when I made this decision, please urge them to contact me privately so we can have a conversation about this", Comey told lawmakers at the time.

"You would think that in private, talking to the Federal Bureau of Investigation director, whose job it is to thwart Russian attacks, you might acknowledge that this enemy of ours is an enemy of ours", Comey said.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You write that President Trump is unethical, untethered to the truth.

He says he knows that's a "stunning" possibility and something that he never thought he'd say about a president of the United States.

Mr Comey was sacked in May 2017, with officials accusing him of mishandling the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of email.

Clinton has asserted that she would have been elected president if Comey hadn't re-opened the investigation.

Attorney Seth Abramson picked up on what he described as "the disgusting irony" of Mr Comey's actions at the time.

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