Ex-FBI chief James Comey says Trump 'morally unfit to be president'

Former FBI director James Comey has mentioned Donald Trump is a person “morally unfit to be president”, who treats girls like “items of meat”.

Mr Comey was giving his first main tv interview since he was was fired by President Trump final 12 months.

He informed ABC Information that Mr Trump lies continuously and should have obstructed justice.

Hours earlier than the interview aired, the president went on the offensive, accusing Mr Comey of “many lies”.

“I do not purchase these things about him being mentally incompetent or early phases of dementia,” Mr Comey informed ABC’s 20/20 programme on Sunday evening.

“I do not suppose he is medically unfit to be president. I feel he is morally unfit to be president.

“Our president should embody respect and cling to the values which are on the core of this nation. An important being reality. This president will not be in a position to try this,” Mr Comey mentioned.

After the interview aired, Mr Trump’s social gathering – by way of the Republican Nationwide Committee – launched a press release saying Mr Comey’s publicity tour for his new ebook confirmed “his true increased loyalty is to himself.”

“The one factor worse than Comey’s historical past of misconduct is his willingness to say something to promote books,” it mentioned.

How did we get right here?

It’s the newest improvement in a long-standing feud between the 2 males, additional fuelled by the upcoming publication of Mr Comey’s memoir A Greater Loyalty: Fact, Lies and Management.

The ex-FBI chief is on a publicity blitz for the ebook.

President Trump has mentioned the” badly reviewed ebook” raises “massive questions”. He additionally prompt Mr Comey must be imprisoned, and in current days started referring to him as a “slimeball”.

The story dates again to the 2016 presidential election, when Mr Comey was FBI director. In October, days earlier than the vote, he despatched a letter to Congress telling them the FBI was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. The letter went public – and Mrs Clinton says it handed Donald Trump the election.

However as soon as Mr Trump turned president, Mr Comey says he tried to extract a pledge of non-public loyalty from him – one thing the president fiercely denies.

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In March 2017, when alleged hyperlinks between Mr Trump’s marketing campaign and Russia had been being investigated by the FBI, Mr Trump allegedly pressured Mr Comey to publicly declare that the president was not personally being investigated – one thing the then director says he declined to do.

Some Democrats blamed Mr Comey for costing Mrs Clinton the election, whereas Trump supporters felt he was focusing on the president with the Russia investigation.

He was fired by President Trump in Could, discovering out about his dismissal from TV information.

Getting out alive?

Evaluation by the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher

James Comey thinks Donald Trump is a serial liar who degrades girls and is “morally unfit” to be president.

He says it is “potential” however “unlikely” that Russia has compromised the president, and that he might have obstructed the collusion investigation.

He additionally believes the American individuals cannot do something about it till the November 2020 presidential election.

That is simply one of many contradictions that emerged in Mr Comey’s interview. He mentioned he strove to make non-political choices in regards to the extremely political 2016 investigations into Hillary Clinton and the Trump marketing campaign. He spoke of integrity and honour, however confessed that he might not have had the “guts” to confront the president.

The previous director gave a fancy interview reflecting a person challenged to attract which means from his place on the centre of the most important political tales of a lifetime. It made for gripping tv. Now Trump loyalists will choose aside his remarks and return hearth.

“No person will get out alive,” Mr Comey quipped within the early days of the Clinton investigation.

It wasn’t actually a joke then. And it definitely is not now.

What else did Comey say?

ABC News released a full 42,000-word transcript of the interview between Mr Comey and chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.

Within the primetime TV interview, Mr Comey prompt that the president had surrounded himself with individuals loyal to him – evaluating Mr Trump to mob bosses he had investigated as a youthful man.

“The loyalty oaths, the boss because the dominant centre of every little thing, it is all about how do you serve the boss, what’s within the boss’ pursuits,” he mentioned.

Requested if these across the president had been “enabling dangerous behaviour”, Mr Comey mentioned: “The problem of this president is that he’ll stain everybody round him.”

Mr Comey, nevertheless, mentioned he didn’t imagine President Trump must be impeached.

“I hope not as a result of I feel impeaching and eradicating Donald Trump from workplace would let the American individuals off the hook,” he mentioned.

As a substitute, he mentioned, it was one thing the American individuals had been “responsibility sure to do straight” on the voting sales space.

Throughout the intensive interview, Mr Comey additionally mentioned:

  • Earlier than revealing the brand new Clinton investigation, one workers member requested Mr Comey: “Do you have to take into account that what you are about do to might assist elect Donald Trump president?”
  • To which Mr Comey mentioned he responded: “Down that path lies the loss of life of the FBI as an unbiased power”
  • On the Clinton probe: “The FBI drove this investigation and we did it in a reliable and unbiased approach. I might wager my life on that”
  • He was a “deeply flawed human surrounded by different flawed people”
  • Readers of his ebook “should stroll out of this pondering I am an fool, however I am an sincere fool”

Printed at Mon, 16 Apr 2018 04:09:23 +0000