Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Key quotes from ex-FBI director James Comey's interview

Anchor George Stephanopoulos sits down with former FBI director James Comey for an exclusive interview that will air during a primetime 20/20 special on Sunday Ralph Alwang ABC News
Patty Aguilar | 16 April, 2018, 13:35

In calling Comey a proven liar, Trump may be referring to the fact the Comey drafted the exoneration of Hillary Clinton before she was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but told Congress under oath that he made the decision after Clinton was interviewed.

Just 11 days before the election, Comey announced that the FBI would reopen an investigation into Clinton's possible misuse of a private email server while she was secretary of state - a move she has said played a part in her loss to Trump.

Comey also discussed the first time he met the newly elected Trump in person in January 2017 to talk about the allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election. "I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia", Comey said of Trump. "I'm about to meet with a person who doesn't know me, who has just been elected the president of the United States. and I'm about to talk to him about allegations that he was involved with prostitutes in Moscow and that the Russians taped it and have leverage over him". "And I don't think it is".

Comey said he actively tried to blend in to the curtains in the White House's Blue Room in a futile attempt to not be singled out for a photo with the new president.

However, Comey told ABC that the FBI opened its investigation into possible Russian influence in the 2016 campaign not as a result of the Steele dossier, which President Trump and some Republicans contend, but when it received information that George Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, had "been talking to someone in London about getting dirt on that the Russians had on Hillary Clinton". But Trump later said he was thinking about "this Russian Federation thing" around the time he made a decision to fire Comey.

Excerpts of the book released last week paint a devastating portrait of the president as a congenital liar and an unethical leader.

Trump has denied having asked Comey for his loyalty. "That's not a perspective, that's not a view, that's just a lie".

Comey, who ran the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly four years, portrays the president in the book as a liar, dumb and rude, and he compares elements of Trump's behavior to that of a Mafia boss.

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The UK, US and France have presented plans for a ceasefire in Syria in the wake of their joint airstrikes on the war-torn country. She says the US was confident that they had "significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again".

'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, ' Comey said. "Isn't he master of television, this is disastrous", said Comey.

'People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values'.

Mr Trump's letter firing Mr Comey said he was losing his job on the recommendation of the Attorney General.

Comey described both their arms as "tense" during the encounter and also described how Trump leaned forward to Comey's right ear to say he was looking forward to working together.

"I knew this was a no-win situation, this case".

"I'm not an unusually strong person but I work out and so I tighten my abs and my core and I'm thinking, 'Unless he's a lot stronger than he looks, he's not getting a hug.' And so he pulls and he doesn't get the hug", Comey said.

Hours before the interview aired, Trump launched into a preemptive tirade on Twitter berating Trump.

He said his confusion grew when he began seeing headlines in which the White House claimed the FBI's reputation was "in tatters" and that the workforce had lost confidence in Comey, and was relieved that he had been fired. His "memos" are self serving and FAKE!'

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