War of words be­tween Trump, Comey es­ca­lates over moral as­sault

In the lat­est salvo be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump and for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey said Trump is a dan­ger­ous, ‘morally un­fit’ leader do­ing ‘tremen­dous dam­age’ to in­sti­tu­tional and cul­tural norms

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - International -

FIRED for­mer FBI chief James Comey lashed out at Don­ald Trump in an in­ter­view with ABC broad­cast Sun­day, call­ing him “morally un­fit” to be pres­i­dent and de­scrib­ing him as a se­rial liar who will “stain ev­ery­one around him.”

Comey’s com­ments in an ABC News in­ter­view that aired Sun­day were al­most cer­tain to es­ca­late his war of words with the pres­i­dent and fur­ther erode a re­la­tion­ship marked by open hos­til­ity and name-call­ing. Hours be­fore the in­ter­view aired, the pres­i­dent, who fired Comey last year, un­leashed a Twit­ter out­burst that la­beled Comey “slip­pery,” sug­gested he should be put in jail and branded him “the WORST FBI Di­rec­tor in his­tory, by far!”

The wide-rang­ing in­ter­view with ABC News also came ahead of Tues­day’s re­lease of Comey’s mem­oir, “A Higher Loy­alty: Truth, Lies and Lead­er­ship,” in which he de­tails his in­ter­ac­tions with the Repub­li­can pres­i­dent.

“I think he’s morally un­fit to be pres­i­dent,” Comey said, in his first tele­vised in­ter­view since be­ing fired in May last year, Agence France-Presse (AFP) re­ported.

The for­mer fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor pointed to how Trump “talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat” and “lies con­stantly about mat­ters big and small and in­sists the Amer­i­can peo­ple be­lieve it.” “Val­ues mat­ter,” Comey said. “This pres­i­dent does not re­flect the val­ues of this coun­try.”

Comey also said that serv­ing in Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion poses a se­ri­ous eth­i­cal dilemma. “The chal­lenge of this pres­i­dent is that he will stain ev­ery­one around him,” he told ABC, which aired an edited ver­sion of the in­ter­view but pub­lished a full tran­script. “And the ques­tion is, how much stain is too much stain and how much stain even­tu­ally makes you un­able to ac­com­plish your goal of pro­tect­ing the coun­try and serv­ing the coun­try?”

The FBI di­rec­tor, who un­til his fir­ing last May led an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into pos­si­ble ties be­tween Rus­sia and the Trump cam­paign, ac­knowl­edged that it was “stun­ning” to think that Rus­sia could have dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion about an Amer­i­can pres­i­dent. But he said that in Trump’s case, he could not dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity that the pres­i­dent had been com­pro­mised.

“These are more words I never thought I’d ut­ter about a pres­i­dent of the United States, but it’s pos­si­ble,” Comey told ABC News’ chief an­chor Ge­orge Stephanopou­los, as re­ported by AP.

He also an­swered “pos­si­bly” when asked if the pres­i­dent was at­tempt­ing to ob­struct jus­tice when he cleared the Oval Of­fice of other of­fi­cials last Fe­bru­ary be­fore en­cour­ag­ing him to close the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Flynn, who by that point was sus­pected of ly­ing to the FBI about his Rus­sian con­tacts. The re­tired gen­eral pleaded guilty last De­cem­ber and is now co­op­er­at­ing with Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Comey, fired by Trump in May last year, was wor­ried the pres­i­dent may be open to black­mail by Rus­sia given claims he was present when pros­ti­tutes uri­nated on each other dur­ing a 2013 Moscow visit. Comey’s fir­ing came as the FBI was prob­ing pos­si­ble con­nec­tions be­tween Trump’s 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and Rus­sia’s med­dling in the U.S. elec­tion. Rus­sia has de­nied in­ter­fer­ing in the elec­tion and Trump has de­nied any col­lu­sion or im­proper ac­tiv­ity.

The war of words be­tween Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and for­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James B. Comey has taken a dra­matic turn.

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