Comey says Trump ‘morally unfit to be president,’ perchance liable to Russian blackmail

Comey says Trump ‘morally unfit to be president,’ perchance liable to Russian blackmail

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Extinct FBI director James B. Comey said in his first televised interview since being fired that he believed Donald Trump became as soon as “morally unfit to be president” and that it became as soon as “which that you can even imagine” that the Russians had topic fabric that will perchance well very properly be feeble to blackmail him.

In a big-ranging conversation with George Stephanopoulos broadcast on ABC boring Sunday, Comey took purpose at Trump in no uncertain terms, comparing his administration to a mafia family, likening his presidency to a forest fire and declaring there became as soon as evidence that he had dedicated against the law.

He said that he would not desire impeaching Trump to exhaust away him from notify of job, on yarn of that “would let the American folks off the hook and dangle one thing occur circuitously that I imagine they’re accountability-sure to enact straight away” — meaning by elections. But he made sure his survey of whether Trump became as soon as match to retain the role.

“This president doesn’t contemplate the values of this nation,” Comey said.

The interview airs staunch days sooner than Comey is determined to begin a brand contemporary guide and embark on a media tour to promote it. Grand of what Comey said to Stephanopoulos mirrors what he wrote, even though his televised, extemporaneous comments are sure to intention the honor of the president, who is an avid TV viewer.

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted criticism of Comey, denying about a of Comey’s allegations and alleging that Comey revealed labeled data and lied to Congress.

“Slippery James Comey, a man who constantly finally ends up badly and out of whack (he’s not natty!), will inch down because the WORST FBI Director in historic past, by a ways!” Trump wrote.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote on Twitter after the interview aired that Comey “has no credibility” and that Trump became as soon as gorgeous to fire him.

“Comey’s PR tour reaffirms that his staunch greater loyalty is to himself,” she wrote. “The single part worse than his historic past of misconduct is his willingness to negate the relaxation to sell books.”

The Washington Post became as soon as allowed to verify a total transcript of the Comey interview, which lasted nearly five hours.

As he did in his guide, Comey detailed in the interview Trump’s fixation on unproven allegations that he watched prostitutes urinate on one one more in a Moscow hotel in 2013, declaring that Trump at one point said he became as soon as taking into account ordering Comey to analyze and disprove the incident on yarn of he failed to want “even a 1 p.c chance” that his wife, first girl Melania Trump, would imagine it came about.

Comey said that struck him as uncommon. “I be mindful pondering, ‘How can also your wife center of attention on there’s a 1 p.c chance you had been with prostitutes peeing on one one more in Moscow?’ ” he said, including that his evaluation became as soon as it’s which that you can even imagine Trump is responsible of the accusation.

“I in point of fact by no system conception these words would reach out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the contemporary president of the US became as soon as with prostitutes peeing on one one more in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said. “It’s which that you can even imagine, but I don’t know.”

Comey said it became as soon as which that you can even imagine, too, that the Russians can dangle topic fabric that will perchance well very properly be feeble to blackmail Trump.

“Enact you watched the Russians dangle one thing on Donald Trump?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“I center of attention on it’s which that you can even imagine. I don’t know. These are extra words I by no system conception I’d yelp about a president of the US, but it absolutely’s which that you can even imagine,” Comey replied.

Comey described in enormous detail a lot of conversations he had with Trump, telling Stephano­poulos of how the president asked for his loyalty and how that interplay and others reminded him of his time as a prosecutor in Sleek York pursuing mob households, for whom loyalty to the boss and the group had been the one values that mattered.

“It’s the family, the family, the family, the family,” Comey said.

Trump has denied soliciting for Comey’s loyalty.

Comey equipped a blunt evaluation of a conversation with Trump on Feb. 14, 2017, in the course of which Comey maintains the president said of an investigation the FBI became as soon as conducting into frail national security adviser Michael Flynn, “I’m hoping it’s doubtless you’ll also let it inch.” Trump disputes Comey’s yarn.

“With that route, became as soon as President Trump obstructing justice?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Presumably,” Comey replied. “I imply, it’s absolutely some evidence of obstruction of justice. That one thing in point of fact indispensable staunch came about and that I became as soon as fairly — one more one of those ­outta-physique experiences, worship, ‘If truth be told? The president staunch kicked out the prison educated overall to impeach me to fall a prison investigation.’ Wow, the arena continues to head crazy.”

Comey even took purpose at Trump’s non-public appearance, remarking how his “tie became as soon as too prolonged, as it constantly is” and that his face “appeared a little bit of orange up shut with diminutive white 1/2-moons below his eyes, which I fetch are from tanning goggles.”

The frail FBI boss acknowledged he had grave misgivings in regards to the Trump presidency even sooner than it began.

In a gathering with President Barack Obama in the last days of his administration, Comey says he urged the president: “I dread the next four years. But in some ways, I include enormous stress to cease to are trying to give protection to the institution I lead.”

Whereas Trump bore the brunt of his criticism, Comey also took purpose at others — including Deputy Attorney Out of the ordinary Rod J. Rosenstein, whom Trump has been taking into account eliminating from his post.

Comey said Rosenstein had “acted dishonorably” in writing a memo lambasting Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s exhaust of a non-public electronic mail server whereas she became as soon as secretary of notify. Trump cited the memo in firing Comey, and Comey said he came to imagine Rosenstein became as soon as “share of the family now. I’m able to’t belief him.”

He later said, even though, that he failed to imagine Rosenstein would fire particular counsel Robert S. Mueller III if ordered by Trump to enact so, and that Rosenstein “has a risk in overseeing Bob Mueller to restore about a of his educated fame.”

As he has previously, Comey equipped a energetic protection of his handling of the Clinton electronic mail investigation.

Facets of the interview tend to revive the fury of Clinton supporters who center of attention on he price her the presidency by reopening the electronic mail investigation lower than two weeks sooner than the election.

When Stephanopoulos asked him if the willpower became as soon as “influenced by your assumption that Hillary Clinton became as soon as going to remove,” Comey replied: “It must dangle been. I don’t be mindful consciously excessive about that, but it absolutely must dangle been. ’Cause I became as soon as working in an worldwide where Hillary Clinton became as soon as going to beat Donald Trump.”

He also said he became as soon as sorry for how he dealt with the principle announcement in July 2016 that he became as soon as closing the Clinton electronic mail probe without hunting for any charges. He says he is of the same opinion now with the criticism that his remarks muddied indispensable points.

“I’m sorry that I triggered all varieties of confusion and anguish with the system I described her conduct that led folks into all varieties of aspect roads,” Comey said.

He also spoke at dimension about his subtle relationship with frail prison educated overall Loretta E. Lynch. Previously, Comey’s defenders dangle argued that a Russian intelligence doc the FBI obtained in early 2016 suggesting Lynch would give protection to Clinton in some style from the electronic mail probe meant that he needed to lower her out of the closing willpower-making route of.

But The Washington Post has reported that many FBI officers considered the allegation towards Lynch as uncertain at easiest — and perchance one of Russia’s very first disinformation efforts throughout the 2016 marketing campaign.

Comey said he didn’t imagine the allegation, but feared that if it ever came out, it may perchance well perhaps cancel the credibility of the Justice Department and the FBI.

“There became as soon as topic fabric that I knew in the future, when it’s declassified, and I assumed that is most doubtless decades in due route, would role off historians to wonder, ‘Hmm, became as soon as there some odd business goin’ on there? Used to be Loretta Lynch one way or the other carrying water for the selling campaign and controlling what the FBI did?’ ”

So partly for that reason, he said, he determined to yell on his possess his recommendation that no charges be filed in the Clinton case.

For the length of the interview, Comey stressed out the importance of telling the truth, a theme in his guide. He described being in the origin reluctant to prosecute Martha Stewart for lying to investigators, but then recalled a case when he became as soon as a federal prosecutor in Richmond and had charged a minister with the identical part.

“And there as soon as became as soon as a day when folks had been insecure of goin’ to hell in the event that they took an oath in the name of God and violated it. We’ve drifted a ways from that day. And so in its notify has to be a peril that as soon as you lie and the authorities can explain it past an cheap doubt, they’re going to prosecute you in repeat to ship a message to the total others who can also very properly be known as upon to give evidence,” Comey said. “We must at all times prosecute those that lie in the course of an investigation.”

The comments reach a day after the Justice Department inspector overall released a document accusing Andrew McCabe, Comey’s frail deputy, of lying consistently as they investigated a media disclosure he had licensed. The inspector overall says McCabe even lied to Comey, even though McCabe disputes Comey’s yarn.

After he became as soon as fired, Comey said, Trump issued an repeat that he became as soon as to not be allowed encourage in the FBI constructing, even to retrieve his assets. His firing came as Comey became as soon as visiting the FBI notify of job in Los Angeles, and for a brief 2nd it wasn’t even sure if he would be allowed to dawdle on the authorities airplane encourage to Washington.

When he did rep on the airplane, he said, “I drank red wine from a paper cup and staunch appeared out at the lights of the nation I worship so grand as we flew house.”

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