Pres­i­dent is ‘morally un­fit’ to serve, de­clares Comey

The Guardian Weekly - - International News -

James Comey ac­cused Don­ald Trump of be­ing “morally un­fit” to be pres­i­dent and treat­ing women like “meat” in his first tele­vi­sion in­ter­view in sup­port of his new book, A Higher Loy­alty.

The for­mer FBI di­rec­tor fur­ther de­scribed Trump as a “stain” on ev­ery­one who worked for him, ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of a five-hour in­ter­view pub­lished by ABC and first ob­tained by the New York Times. Yet Comey said he does not wish for Trump’s im­peach­ment be­cause that “would let the Amer­i­can peo­ple off the hook”.

A one-hour edited ver­sion of the in­ter­view with Ge­orge Stephanopou­los aired on ABC News last Sun­day night.

Re­ply­ing to a ques­tion about whether Trump had com­mit­ted an ob­struc­tion of jus­tice, Comey said “it’s pos­si­ble”. “There’s cer­tainly some ev­i­dence of ob­struc­tion of jus­tice,” he said. But for the pres­i­dent to fol­low through on threats to fire spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller would “set off alarm bells that this is his most se­ri­ous at­tack yet on the rule of law”. In his book, Comey com­pares Trump to a mafia don and chal­lenges the pres­i­dent’s char­ac­ter, hon­esty and com­mit­ment to pub­lic ser­vice. Comey also spoke for the first time about his im­me­di­ate fam­ily’s dis­ap­point­ment at Hil­lary Clin­ton’s loss. He said that his four daugh­ters and his wife, Pa­trice, wanted Clin­ton to win, and as the ABC broad­cast showed pic­tures of them protest­ing Comey dis­closed that they at­tended the Women’s March in Wash­ing­ton the day fol­low­ing Trump’s in­au­gu­ra­tion.

He re­sponded to crit­i­cism by Clin­ton and oth­ers that he had cost her the elec­tion by mak­ing pub­lic a late-stage twist in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of her emails. “It sucked,” he said, but added that he would make the same de­ci­sion again.

Comey dis­missed Trump’s de­nial of a dif­fer­ent scene, in which he said Trump told him to “let go” of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn. “The pres­i­dent says he didn’t say that,” Stephanopou­los said. “What am I gonna do? He did,” Comey replied with a shrug.

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