Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

James Comey gives first interview since President Trump fired him

James Comey gives first interview since President Trump fired him

The FBI chief was sacked while the agency was probing possible collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia's meddling in the U.S. election. So far, 19 people - including Flynn and Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort -have been charged in the investigation. Not for immigration policy.

As Trump and Comey trade insults and differing accounts of events in which both were involved, the public, so far at least, is siding with the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director. "I think that is something that is discrediting and we're going to push back".

"I worry that the norms at the center of this country - we can fight as Americans about guns or taxes or immigration, and we always have", Comey said.

"That's not a policy statement. He is morally unfit to be president", Mr Comey said.

Yet despite Comey's continuing defense over how he handled the matter, it appears neither Democrats nor Republicans are going to walk away from the interview with a different opinion of him.

Comey's book, which leaked out last week ahead of its official release Tuesday, takes on the president who fired him in May 2017 over the troubling Russian Federation election meddling investigation, a probe that poses a deep threat to Trump's 15-month-old presidency. Trump wrote early on Sunday in one of five Twitter posts aimed directly at Comey. The book will officially be released next week.

In July of 2016, Comey announced that he wasn't recommending charges against Clinton, but stated that Clinton and her aides were "extremely careless" in their handling of classified information.

Comey answered "possibly" when asked in the ABC News interview whether the president was attempting to obstruct justice when he asked Comey to end an FBI investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"He asked for my loyalty personally as the F.B.I. director".

Yet Comey said he hopes Trump will not be impeached and removed from office.

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Communities Secretary Sajid Javid had said he was "deeply concerned" at the treatment of people who were "long-standing pillars of our community".

The FBI has long tried to operate as an independent law enforcement agency. "So what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think there's only a 99 percent chance you didn't do that?" said Comey. Leaked excerpts have detailed Comey's mistrust of Trump, whom he describes as "ego driven" and "untethered to the truth".

Mrs Clinton blames his decision to reopen the email probe 11 days before the 2016 election for her shock defeat.

The Clinton probe was already public, Comey said, whereas the FBI's examination of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation was in its early stages.

It's not a surprise that news outlets would pick up on the most dramatic pieces of what Comey writes or what he said in his first interview with ABC News.

"Our President must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country".

US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday morning, expressed qualified support for Comey.

Comey also said Trump is "morally unfit to be president" and claimed there is "certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice" by Trump.

"I started to tell him about the allegation was that he had been involved with prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow in 2013", Comey says in the clip.

The attacks come hours before Comey's interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos was scheduled to air Sunday night.

He likened the Trump presidency to a "forest fire".

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