James Comey's ABC Interview: Five Highlights

James Comey
James Comey Andrew Harnik AP

16 Abril, 2018

The former FBI director is planning a series of media appearances to promote his book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership", starting with an ABC News interview airing Sunday evening at 10 p.m., ET.

Trump called Comey "slippery" and "out of whack", and someone who will be known as the "worst FBI director in history".

In What Happened, her memoir about the 2016 presidential race, Clinton skewered Comey's decision to announce, 11 days before the election, that the F.B.I. had reopened its investigation after a trove of e-mails was discovered on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Trump also repeated his belief that the notes Comey says he took about his interactions with the president are "FAKE!" and that Comey is lying when he says the president asked him for loyalty.

In the interview, Comey said he was unsure whether or not the Russians have compromising material that could be used to blackmail Trump - either relating to his pre-election personal conduct, or his campaign's actions.

"I hope not because 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". But he said that in Mr Trump's case, he could not discount the possibility that the president had been compromised.

Here are some key quotes from his conversation with anchor George Stephanopoulos, a full transcript of which was published by the network.

Later on, the president branded Comey as a historical failure at his job leading the FBI.

"Possibly. I mean, it's certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice", he said.

The notion that Trump didn't spend the night appears to be refuted by a November, 2017 NBC News report on Schiller's House Intel Committee testimony, in which the president's former bodyguard confirmed that "a Russian participant" of the Miss Universe pageant offered to "send five women" to Trump's suite. "Maybe it was a contrarian streak or maybe it was something more complicated that explained his constant equivocation and apologies for Vladimir Putin". He says Schumer had tears in his eyes as he acknowledged the dilemma Comey had grappled with during the election.

However, that Mr Comey considers it's even possible, is itself pretty remarkable. There is no indication that any such tape exists, and Trump has rebutted the allegation. Comey writes that the president gave him flashbacks to his days prosecuting the Cosa Nostra.

'The most important being truth.

As for Mr Trump's hands, "as I shook his hand I made a note to check the size and it seemed like he had average-sized hands", he told Stephanopoulos.

The FBI has long tried to operate as an independent law enforcement agency.

Still, he says it strikes him as unlikely, but something that he can't say without high confidence. I urged Kelly not to do that, arguing that the country needed principled people around this president.

"Our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country". Democrats have faulted Comey for his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state. "I think he's morally unfit to be president".

As the TVs in the bureau started to show the news on other networks, he saw some were displaying the words "Comey Fired". "No golf and grandkids talk (give us all a break)!" tweeted Trump.

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