Comey also said Trump was ‘someone for whom truth is not a high value.’
Former FBI Director James Comey called Donald Trump unfit to lead the nation, saying in an interview that aired Sunday that the president is “someone for whom truth is not a high value” and who treats women “like they’re pieces of meat.”
“I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president,” Comey said in the interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
The interview marks the beginning of a weeks-long media tour for Comey’s new tell-all book, which charts his career from a prosecutor of mafia figures — whose emphasis on loyalty Comey says was similar to Trump’s — to his perch as FBI director until the president fired him last year.
In the wide-ranging interview, Comey laid out the ways in which he says Trump tried to unduly influence him, talking to him privately about the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and asking for Comey’s loyalty during a private dinner at the White House.
Repeated private meetings, phone calls and friendly handshakes from the president made Comey uncomfortable, he said. In a meeting in the Oval Office, Trump asked Comey to go easy on Michael Flynn, the national security adviser who was fired and later pleaded guilty to lying to law enforcement. “I hope you can let it go,” Comey recounted Trump saying to him.
Comey compared Trump to the mafia bosses he spent years prosecuting as a young public servant.
“I’m not trying to…suggest that President Trump is out breaking legs and, you know, shaking down shopkeepers,” Comey said, adding that the similarity was in what he saw as a culture of loyalty around the president. “The loyalty oaths, the boss as the dominant center of everything, it’s all about how do you serve the boss, what’s in the boss’ interests. It’s the family, the family, the family, the family.”
Comey said in the interview that aired Sunday that the sum of his interactions with Trump led him to conclude that the current administration was akin to a forest fire engulfing Washington’s political norms.
“Forest fires do tremendous damage. His presidency is doing, and will do, tremendous damage to our norms and our values, especially the truth,” Comey said. “And terrible things happen in forest fires.”
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