Former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey says President Donald Trump is “morally unfit” to be president and there is “some evidence” Trump obstructed justice.
“There’s something more important than that that should unite all of us, and that is our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country,” Comey said.”The most important being truth.This president is not able to do that.”
Comey’s comments came in an interview with ABC News Sunday before the publication this week his book, “A Higher Loyalty.” In part, it recounts his role in investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that contained classified information, as well as Comey’s private discussions with Trump before the president fired him last May.
On Monday, hours after the telecast, Trump tweeted that Comey and others “committed many crimes!”
The White House said Trump watched “bits and pieces” of the Comey interview, but not all of it.
Trump press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s reaction was that Comey has “been proven to be dishonest,” and has “such a lack of credibility.”
Comey claimed that in one of his meetings with Trump, which he had previously described in public congressional testimony, that Trump brought up the investigation of his one-time national security adviser Michael Flynn and asked if the FBI director could “let it go.”
“It’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.It would depend — and I’m just a witness in this case, not the investigator or prosecutor — it would depend upon other things that reflected on his intent,” Comey said.
Trump has denied he asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.Trump has also used Twitter to call Comey a liar and called for his imprisonment.
“The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress [jail],” Trump posted Sunday, apparently claiming wrongly that the notes Comey wrote about private meetings with Trump and talked about publicly were classified.
Comey recounted in the ABC interview another meeting where he said Trump asked for his loyalty.
But Trump said in a tweet before the interview aired that he never asked for personal loyalty.
Trump’s move to fire Comey led to the appointment of former FBI chief Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating Russia’s alleged election interference and whether Trump obstructed justice.
Mueller has so far charged 19 people during his investigation, including Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos.
Comey said if allowed to continue his work, he is confident Mueller “will find the truth.”
“And again, I don’t know what that will be. He may conclude that there is nothing that touches President Trump or any of his senior people,” he said. “And that’s fine, so long as he’s able to find that truth.”
Trump denies his campaign colluded with Russia.
Comey also said he cannot rule out the possibility that Russia has compromising information about Trump.
“I think it’s possible. I don’t know,” he said. “These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”
WATCH: Trump in battle with Comey
Comey faced criticism for his handling of the investigation into Clinton’s email practices while she served as secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, including announcing just before the election that the probe had been reopened.Clinton said that decision helped cost her the election.
Comey told ABC he made what he thought was the appropriate decision and that a belief Clinton would win the vote for president was a factor.
“I don’t remember spelling it out, but it had to have been,” he said. “That she’s going to be elected president, and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out.”
Trump expressed his dissatisfaction with those comments on Twitter.
Trump expressed a similar view of Comey in another tweet: