Tue, Apr 17, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Trump morally unfit, may be compromised: Comey

AP, WASHINGTON

An image released by ABC News shows correspondent George Stephanopoulos, left, with former FBI director James Comey during a taped interview that aired on Sunday.

Photo: AP

Former FBI director James Comey said he thought it was possible that Russians have compromising information on US President Donald Trump, that there was “some evidence of obstruction of justice” in the president’s actions and that Trump was “morally unfit” for office.

Comey’s comments in a special edition of the ABC show 20/20 that aired on Sunday were almost certain to escalate his war of words with the president and further erode a relationship marked by open hostility and name-calling.

Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway yesterday criticized Comey, accusing him of peddling a “revisionist version of history” and sinking into the “gutter” with petty comments about the size of Trump’s hands and the length of his tie.

“He looked a little shaky,” she said on Good Morning America.

Hours before the interview was shown, Trump, who fired Comey last year, unleashed a Twitter outburst that labeled Comey “slippery,” suggested he should be put in jail and branded him “the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”

Comey’s televised remarks, coupled with the release of his forthcoming book, offer his version of events surrounding his firing and the investigations into Russian election meddling and former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail practices.

Several of the episodes he described in detail, including a private conversation about former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, are central to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and his recollections are presumably valuable for prosecutors examining whether the president’s actions constitute obstruction of justice.

The FBI director, who until his firing in May last year led an investigation into possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, acknowledged that it was “stunning” to think that Russia could have damaging information about a US president.

However, he said that in Trump’s case, he could not discount the possibility that the president had been compromised.

“These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible,” Comey told ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.

He also answered “possibly” when asked if the president was attempting to obstruct justice when he cleared the Oval Office of other officials in February last year before encouraging him to close the investigation into Flynn, who by that point was suspected of lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.

The retired general pleaded guilty in December and is now cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.

Comey also said he believed that Trump was “morally unfit” to be president and that he treated women like “pieces of meat.”

“A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it — that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” Comey said.

Trump on Sunday rejected Comey’s assertion that he had sought his loyalty at a January dinner, saying: “I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies.”

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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