Comey: ‘Pos­si­ble’ that Rus­sians have lever­age over Trump

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS - By CATHER­INE LUCEY and ERIC TUCKER

WASH­ING­TON — For­mer FBI Di­rec­tor James Comey says he thinks it’s pos­si­ble the Rus­sians have com­pro­mis­ing in­for­ma­tion on Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and that there is “some ev­i­dence of ob­struc­tion of jus­tice” in the pres­i­dent’s ac­tions. That in­cluded Trump’s re­quest to end an FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into for­mer White House na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser Michael Flynn.

In an ABC News in­ter­view that aired Sun­day, Comey ac­knowl­edged that it was “stun­ning” to think that Rus­sia could have dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion on a pres­i­dent but said he could not dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity.

“It is stun­ning and I wish I wasn’t say­ing it, but it’s just — it’s the truth. I can­not say that,” Comey said. “It al­ways struck me and still strikes me as un­likely, and I woulda been able to say with high con­fi­dence about any other pres­i­dent I dealt with, but I can’t. It’s pos­si­ble.”

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 and en­cour­aged him to close the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Flynn, who pleaded guilty last De­cem­ber to ly­ing to the FBI and is now co­op­er­at­ing with spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The in­ter­view aired hours af­ter a vit­ri­olic Twit­ter out­burst from the pres­i­dent, who called Comey “slip­pery,” sug­gested he should be in jail and la­beled him the “the WORST FBI Di­rec­tor in his­tory, by far!”

Trump fired off a se­ries of tweets ahead of Comey’s first in­ter­view on the book, which of­fers his version of the events sur­round­ing his fir­ing as FBI di­rec­tor by Trump and the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling and Hil­lary Clin­ton’s email prac­tices.

In an ex­cerpt shown Satur­day, Comey said his be­lief that Clin­ton would beat Trump in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion was a fac­tor in his de­ci­sion to dis­close the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her emails. Trump seized on that, say­ing Comey “was mak­ing de­ci­sions based on the fact that he thought she was go­ing to win, and he wanted a job. Slime­ball!”

Comey’s dis­clo­sure shortly be­fore the elec­tion that the FBI had re­opened its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her email use en­raged Democrats. Af­ter Clin­ton’s loss, many Democrats blamed Comey, and Clin­ton her­self has said it hurt her elec­tion prospects.

Trump on Sun­day pushed back again against Comey’s claims that Trump sought his loy­alty, say­ing, “I hardly even knew this guy. Just an­other of his many lies.” He ques­tioned Comey’s in­tel­li­gence and place in his­tory, writ­ing, “Slip­pery James Comey, a man who al­ways ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Di­rec­tor in his­tory, by far!”

He also sug­gested Comey should be im­pris­oned, say­ing, “how come he gave up Clas­si­fied In­for­ma­tion (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail).” There is no in­di­ca­tion Comey is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for do­ing ei­ther.


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