Saturday, 20 October, 2018

James Comey gives first interview since President Trump fired him

Patty Aguilar | 17 April, 2018, 00:49

Just days before his new book hits bookshelves, former FBI Director James Comey appeared in his first TV interview since being fired a year ago.

Trump tweeted: "The big questions in Comey's badly reviewed book aren't answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (why didn't they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe's $700,000 & more?".

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to unload on James Comey over his forthcoming memoir, calling him "slippery", suggesting he should be in jail and labeling him "the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!"

When asked if the Russians had something on Trump, Comey said: "I think it's possible".

Last summer, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Comey drafted a statement that exonerated Clinton before the FBI had completed the investigation.

The president also made reference to Comey's admission that his certainty that Clinton would win the 2016 election influenced his decision to announce the reopening of the email investigation just days before election day. Comey informed Trump about the allegations in private before his inauguration several times, and he writes in his book that Trump was obsessed with disproving them. A lawyer for McCabe has disputed the report's conclusions. What are they there for, after all, if not self-righteous truth-telling that ends in a tidy little scenario that rids the country of its duly elected president? Trump had denied asking Comey to stop investigating Flynn.

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Trump on Sunday pushed back again against Comey's claims that Trump sought his loyalty, saying, "I hardly even knew this guy". But if you believe Comey, as I think most reasonable people would, then he has provided an important set of facts that have to be dealt with - by prosecutors, by Congress and by the voters. Trump fired Comey in May 2017, setting off a scramble at the Justice Department that led to the appointment of Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation investigation. There were no tweets from the president immediately following the hour-long broadcast, during which Comey called Mr. Trump a serial liar and even remarked on his personal appearance.

He said Sessions responded by not meeting his gaze, darting his eyes around, and letting Comey know he was on his own. "It appears to me that what I know about the book is that he is sharing his inner monologue about his interactions with the president that he already has testified about". Clinton herself has pointed to Comey's actions in explaining her presidential election loss.

Asked about Trump's use of the words last week "slimeball" to describe Comey, Ryan said, "I don't use words like that".

In an interview with USA TODAY, Comey characterized the book project as "an obligation to try to drive a healthy conversation" about leadership and ethics.

When Trump fired Comey in May 2017, the administration cited a memo written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein criticizing Comey's handling of the inquiry into Clinton's email server. "People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values".

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