Former FBI Director James Comey sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday night time for a wide-ranging interview the place he spoke about his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, his conferences with President Donald Trump, and extra.
The previous FBI director additionally went into element in regards to the so-called “pee tape,” a video that was talked about within the Christopher Steele file that allegedly exhibits Trump paying prostitutes to pee on a mattress in Russia that may very well be used as blackmail in opposition to the president.
Listed below are 9 highlights from the interview:
1) Comey compares the Trump presidency to a forest hearth
Stephanopoulos says Comey’s e-book, A Increased Loyalty, ends with a picture of the Trump presidency, which the previous FBI director mentioned was a “forest hearth.”
“I consider it as a forest hearth. That forest fires do super harm. His presidency is doing, and can do, super harm to our norms and our values, particularly the reality. And in order that’s dangerous. And horrible issues occur in forest fires,” Comey mentioned. “However I’m an optimistic individual. And so I select to see the chance in a forest hearth ’trigger what forest fires do is enable issues to develop that by no means may’ve grown. Had been crowded out, didn’t have the sunshine or the water to develop. And so I see already issues rising and flourishing that didn’t earlier than this hearth.”
2) Election night time: ‘Did we’ve some position on this?’
Comey, who mentioned he didn’t vote through the presidential election in 2016, mentioned on election night time he was “shocked” that Trump had been elected.
The previous FBI director mentioned he remembers considering “Oh my God, did we’ve some position on this? Did we’ve some influence on the election?”
three) Throughout a gathering with Obama after the election, Comey mentioned he dreaded the “subsequent 4 years”
Comey mentioned he met with former President Barack Obama shortly after the election the place he informed him that he understood the choices he’d made relating to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s electronic mail server.
The previous FBI director mentioned the dialogue “meant quite a bit to me” as a result of he “had not been a political supporter of President Obama’s,” and mentioned he informed him: “I dread the subsequent 4 years. However in some ways, I really feel nice strain to remain to attempt to defend the establishment I lead.”
Comey mentioned he feared that Trump would strive an “erode the independence of the FBI.”
four) The pee tape was nonetheless unverified as of final yr when Comey was fired
Stephanopoulos requested Comey immediately in regards to the “salacious” a part of the Steele file, the pee tape, and whether or not or not it had been verified by the intelligence group.
The previous FBI director mentioned when he was fired by Trump final Might, it remained unverified.
He additionally defined that in a gathering with Obama and high intelligence group officers shortly earlier than Trump’s inauguration about how Comey would transient the incoming president on the pee tape portion of the Steele file, Obama raised his eyebrows at him with a “Good luck with that” type of look.
Through the assembly—which was simply between the 2 of them—Comey mentioned Trump mentioned: “Do I appear like a man who wants hookers?”
Comey mentioned Trump launched right into a rant about individuals who had accused him of sexual assault throughout their assembly.
“I actually by no means thought this phrases would come out of my mouth, however I don’t know whether or not the— the— present president of america was with prostitutes peeing on one another in Moscow in 2013,” Comey mentioned. “It’s doable, however I don’t know.”
After the file was launched, Comey says the president informed him the pee tape allegations couldn’t be true as a result of he was a “germaphobe.”
5) Comey’s first impression of Trump: ‘impressively coifed hair’
The assembly the place Comey would ultimately inform Trump in regards to the pee tape can be the primary time he met the incoming president in individual. Stephanopoulos requested about his first impression of Trump, and Comey admitted that he “stared at” his hair.
“He had—impressively coifed hair, it seems to be to be all his. I confess, I stared at it fairly intently and my response was, ‘It should take a heck of lots of time within the morning, but it surely’s impressively coifed.’ He regarded—his tie was too lengthy, because it at all times is. He regarded barely orange up shut with small white—half-moons beneath his eyes, which I assume are from tanning googles. And in any other case regarded as I had anticipated him to look from tele—as I assumed he regarded on tv.”
Additionally, Comey mentioned Trump has “average-sized fingers.”
6) Comey reasserts that Trump requested him for loyalty
Through the interview, Comey mentioned Trump requested him to dinner—the place they ate salad and shrimp scampi—and the president informed him “I count on loyalty, I would like loyalty.” Comey mentioned he “simply froze” and stared at Trump quite than reply.
Later, Comey mentioned Trump pressed once more on “loyalty” to which he replied: “You’ll at all times get honesty from me.”
Stephanopoulos additionally requested the previous FBI director what it was like evaluating Trump to a “mob boss.” Comey replied:
“Very unusual. And I don’t do it calmly. I—and I’m not attempting to that, by the way in which, counsel that President Trump is out breaking legs and—you recognize, shaking down shopkeepers. However as an alternative, what I’m speaking about is that management tradition always comes again to me after I take into consideration my expertise with the Trump administration.”
7) Trump recommended he wished Comey to research the pee tape
Throughout the identical dinner, Comey mentioned Trump once more introduced up the pee tape and requested him to “show that it didn’t occur.”
Based on the previous FBI director, Trump mentioned if there was a “one % likelihood” First Girl Melania Trump thought the pee tape was actual it will be “horrible.” He mentioned he remembered considering that it was odd that his spouse would suppose it was actual.
This encounter can be reportedly a part of Comey’s e-book.
Screengrab by way of C-SPAN/YouTube
Remix by Jason Reed
eight) Comey: Trump ‘probably’ obstructed justice
Stephanopoulos additionally requested Comey about his declare that the president requested him to again off the investigation of former Nationwide Safety Adviser Michael Flynn.
When pressed, Comey mentioned it might need been obstruction of justice.
“Probably. I imply, it’s actually some proof of obstruction of justice. It might rely and—and I’m only a witness on this case, not the investigator or prosecutor, it will rely on different issues that mirrored on his intent.”
9) Comey says Trump firing Robert Mueller can be an ‘assault’ on the rule of regulation
As rumors proceed to swirl about Trump doubtlessly firing Particular Counsel Robert Mueller, the previous FBI director mentioned the likelihood can be his “most severe assault but on the rule of regulation.”
“And it will be one thing that our total nation—once more, Democrats and Republicans, that’s greater than all the conventional fights about coverage. That’s in regards to the values of this nation and the rule of regulation. And it will be to the eternal disgrace of partisans in the event that they have been unable to see that greater degree and to guard it.”
Comey mentioned he can be a witness in Mueller’s case if he requested him to take action.
You’ll be able to learn a transcript of Stephanopoulos’ interview with Comey right here.
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