“Morally unfit” to be president: James Comey trashes Trump in ABC News interview
Former FBI Director James Comey unloaded on President Donald Trump in an interview with ABC News, saying that Trump is a “stain” on “everyone around him” and is “morally unfit” to be president.
ABC News condensed a five-hour interview with Comey into a one-hour special that aired Sunday night. The president already spent Sunday morning trashing Comey in anticipation of interview airing with a series of tweets that were riddled with inaccuracies.
In the interview, Comey called Trump a “liar,” said his presidency is a “forest fire” that is doing “tremendous damage to our norms and our values” and suggested he wants to see Trump voted out of office in the 2020 election.
“I don’t buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia,” Comey said in an interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. “He strikes me as a person of above-average intelligence who’s tracking conversations and knows what’s going on. I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”
Comey went into detail about his conversations with the president after Trump was inaugurated, including the conversation in which Trump allegedly demanded Comey’s loyalty. He also discussed a briefing he gave Trump about the now-infamous Steele dossier, which infamously detailed allegations that Trump watched Russian prostitutes urinating on a bed former President Barack Obama once slept in at a Moscow hotel.
Comey says Trump wanted the allegation to be dispelled, as it upset first lady Melania Trump.
“He brings it up and says he may want me to investigate it to prove that it didn’t happen,” Comey said of the tape. “And then he says — something that distracted me. ’Cause he said, you know, ‘If there’s even a 1% chance my wife thinks that’s true, that’s terrible.’
“And I — and I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there’s a 1% chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?’ I’m a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true. So what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think there’s only a 99% chance you didn’t do that?”
Comey told Stephanopoulos he believes it’s possible the incident did occur, and that there may be evidence of it. He also said he’s uncertain if Trump has been compromised by the Russians.
“It always struck me, and still strikes me as unlikely, and I would have been able to say with high confidence about any other president I dealt with, but I can’t,” Comey said. “It’s possible.”
During the interview, Comey also opened up about his role in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while serving as secretary of state. He said that the 10 days after he announced he was reopening the investigation into Clinton, at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, was a “very painful period.”
“I walked around vaguely sick to my stomach, feeling beaten down. I felt, when I went to the White House — I don’t want to spoil it for people, but there’s a movie called The Sixth Sense that I talk about in the book where Bruce Willis doesn’t realize he’s dead.
“That’s the way I felt. I felt like I was totally alone, that everybody hated me. And that there wasn’t a way out because it really was the right thing to do. And that — that, in a way, I’m ruined. But that’s what I have to do. I had to do it the way.”
Ultimately, Comey wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Trump has obstructed justice — an allegation special counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating. But he doesn’t believe Trump should be impeached.
“I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they’re duty bound to do directly,” Comey said. “People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values.”