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James Comey: 'Even in Private' Trump Won't Criticize Putin

18 April 2018

Former FBI Director James Comey says it's "not OK" and "not normal" for the president to call for private citizens to be jailed.

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey spoke out in sometimes salacious detail about his former boss.

To Comey, Trump is everything a president shouldn't be. And he's not mincing words.

The Republican National Committee has already questioned the former director's credibility by launching a website titled "Lyin' Comey". He calls him "untethered to truth", "unethical" and a "forest fire" burning through the foundation of American democracy, norms and values.

On Monday, Trump pulled the plug on sanctions aimed at Russian companies behind the equipment related to Syrian President Bashar Assad's alleged chemical weapons attack, after the sanctions were announced Sunday by Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations. One of those viewers may well have been President Trump.

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Comey, who was sacked by Trump previous year, told NPR that he doesn't follow Trump on Twitter but sees some of his tweets. But the book and his interview reveal some telling details. He also defends him in private.

"I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don't know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013". That's true whether you think Comey is an admirable person or not.

Comey also responded to critics who questioned why he included negative personal descriptions about the size of the president's hands, his elaborate hairstyle and the length of his tie. 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. "I'm leading the investigation of Russian influence".

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Late on Sunday, Comey launched a publicity tour for his new memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, with an ABC television interview in which he branded Trump a serial liar who will "stain everyone around him". "Not acceptable!" Trump said.

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"He had impressively coiffed hair, it looks to be all his".

Trump has lashed out as Comey repeatedly as a "leaker" for providing unclassified memos to an intermediary to give to The New York Times. No, but given who the two men are, and that Comey made notes of their conversations and contemporaneously told colleagues about what had transpired between him and the president, the evidence weighs heavily in Comey's favor.

"The problem with this whole situation is the president stained those institutions - the entire Department of Justice and the inspector general - by doing something wildly inappropriate, which is calling for Andy McCabe's head". But if you believe Comey, as I think most reasonable people would, then he has provided an important set of facts that have to be dealt with - by prosecutors, by Congress, and by the voters. On CNN's "New Day" this morning, the gloves came off in an exchange between presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway and CNN anchor and Democratic scion Chris Cuomo.

The White House said Trump watched "bits and pieces" of the Comey interview, but not all of it.

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James Comey: 'Even in Private' Trump Won't Criticize Putin