Key quotes from ex-FBI director Comey's interview

Erika Holt
April 16, 2018

"I think he's morally unfit to be president". "People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values".

Filmed ahead of the release of a book in which he likens the President to one of the mafia bosses he once took on, the ABC News interview sees Mr Comey describe the "slightly orange" USA leader as "morally unfit" to serve. "My book is about ethical leadership & draws on stories from my life & lessons I learned from others".

Mr. Trump fired him as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on May 9, 2017.

The president's attacks on Comey began even before the interview aired. It was the subject of his first meeting with Trump shortly after the election in which Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election was discussed. "Did that trigger the FBI investigation in any way?" asked Stephanopoulos.

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.

He also suggested Comey should be imprisoned, saying, "how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail)".

The dossier includes salacious details about Trump's alleged behaviour with prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.

The notion that Trump didn't spend the night appears to be refuted by a November, 2017 NBC News report on Schiller's House Intel Committee testimony, in which the president's former bodyguard confirmed that "a Russian participant" of the Miss Universe pageant offered to "send five women" to Trump's suite.

In the ABC segment that aired on Friday (Saturday NZT), Stephanopoulos also asked Comey if he had disclosed to Trump the source of funding of the dossier, compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer.

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Comey offered a blunt assessment of a conversation with Trump on February 14, 2017, during which Comey maintains the president said of an investigation the FBI was conducting into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, "I hope you can let it go". This president is not able to do that.

"Possibly. I mean, it's certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice", he said.

"I don't think he's medically unfit to be president", he said.

Comey's explosive book, which is apparently highly critical of Trump, will hit the bookshelves next week. He called Comey "slippery" and again described him as a "slime ball".

"The conversation, to my surprise, moved into a PR conversation about how the Trump team would position this and what they could say about this", Comey says.

Comey also recalls his first impression of president trump. Trump said on Twitter early Sunday. After Clinton's loss, many Democrats blamed Comey, and Clinton herself has said it hurt her election prospects. He asked, "Why can't we all find out what happened on the tarmac in the back of the plane", in the June 2016 meeting between Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, one month before the Justice Department cleared Hillary Clinton of criminal charges in the investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state. "Reasonable people would've chosen a different door for reasonable reasons", he said.

"It's been really hard to put all the pieces together in our minds about, 'How does this all add up?'" he said.

Comey, who is on a media tour ahead of the release of his memoirs, dished on a number of topics from his controversial reopening of the Clinton investigation to the possibility that the "pee tape" exists.

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