Former FBI Director James Comey said in an interview with ABC News which aired Sunday evening that he believes President Donald Trump is not fit to be the leader of the United States, telling George Stephanopoulos:
“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.
“I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”
Comey also said that Trump may indeed be vulnerable to blackmail from Russia:
“I think it’s possible. I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”
As for the explosive dossier compiled by British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, Comey said it was highly credible and Steele was a reliable source of information:
“Well, certainly the source was credible. There’s no doubt that he had a network of sources and sub-sources in a position to report on these kinds of things. But we tend to approach these things with a bit of a blank slate, trying to figure out, ‘So what can we replicate?’ This guy, who’s credible, says these things are true. Okay. That means we should try and replicate that work to see if we can develop the same sources.”
And in what may well wind up being one of the most damning statements about Donald Trump yet spoken by anyone, Comey had this to say of the president, who is facing criminal investigations on multiple fronts:
“The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him. And the question is, how much stain is too much stain and how much stain eventually makes you unable to accomplish your goal of protecting the country and serving the country?”
Republicans went into damage control mode seconds after the Comey interview aired Sunday night, with Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel issuing a statement which read in part:
“James Comey’s publicity tour reaffirms that his true higher loyalty is to himself. The only thing worse than Comey’s history of misconduct is his willingness to say anything to sell books. He has no credibility and President Trump was right to follow through on the bipartisan calls for him to be fired.”
Trump also weighed in via Twitter on Monday morning:
Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2018
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