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Comey: Trump is ‘morally unfit to be president’

James Comey
Former FBI director James Comey.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

  • Former FBI director James Comey said he doesn’t think President Trump is morally fit to be president.
  • “Our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country,” Comey told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during an exclusive interview Sunday night. “The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that.”
  • When Stephanopoulos asked Comey whether he believed Trump should be impeached, Comey said US citizens need to “fight” for American values, and that “impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that.”

Former FBI director James Comey believes President Donald Trump is not fit to be president.

Comey made the revelation during his first major interview following his ouster last year.

Comey sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos for a one-hour interview that aired Sunday night. It came ahead of the widely anticipated release of Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”

“You write that President Trump is unethical, untethered to the truth,” Stephanopoulos said. “Is Donald Trump unfit to be president?”

“Yes,” Comey replied. “But not in the way — I often hear people talk about it. I don’t buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence whose tracking conversations and knows what’s going on.”

He added: “I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”

Comey cited Trump’s response to the white-nationalist riots in Charlottesville, his treatment of women, and his tendency to make misleading and exaggerated statements as reasons behind his assessment of the president.

“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. He is morally unfit to be president.”

Comey declined to answer when asked whether he believed Trump should be impeached, calling it a “question of law and fact and politics.”

After Stephanopoulos pressed him for his judgment, Comey said, “I hope not because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they’re duty bound to do directly.”

He added that US citizens need to “fight” for American values, and that “impeachment, in a way, would short-circuit that.”

The special counsel Robert Mueller is currently investigating the Trump campaign — and Trump himself — as part of the Russia probe. In addition to looking into whether the campaign colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election, Mueller is also examining whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired Comey last year.

The White House initially said Comey was fired because of his handling of the Clinton email investigation. But Trump later told NBC’s Lester Holt that “this Russia thing” had been a factor in his decision. Ahead of Comey’s book release, Trump, his allies, and the Republican National Committee have launched an aggressive campaign to discredit the former FBI director.

“Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning, hours before Comey’s interview was set to air. “In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job. Slimeball!”

He later added: “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!”

Comey, however, described in his memoir that his concern lay not with keeping his job, but making Clinton appear to be an “illegitimate president” by not disclosing the fact that the FBI had restarted its investigation into her use of a private email server.

“The big question 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), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?”

When Stephanopoulos asked Comey what the remedy should be if Mueller finds evidence of obstruction of justice, Comey again declined to give a direct answer.

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