James Comey shared his concerns about Donald Trump in his first interview since being ousted as FBI director, telling ABC News on Sunday why he feels the former businessman is “morally unfit” for the presidency.
During the interview with George Stephanopoulos — which was tied to the upcoming release of his new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership — Comey pointed to Trump blaming “both sides” for the violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last August, as well as the way he “treats women like they’re pieces of meat.”
“There’s something more important than 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, according to a transcript of the ABC News interview. “The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.”
The former FBI director dismissed conjecture that Trump is suffering from a health problem.
“I don’t buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia,” Comey said. “He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who’s tracking conversations and knows what’s going on.”
He added to ABC News, “I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”
Earlier on Sunday, Trump took to Twitter to challenge claims made by Comey in the book.
“Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe,” Trump wrote in one. “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!”
Another stated, “The big questions 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 asked if Trump should be impeached, Comey told Stephanopoulos that he would like to see him voted out of office.
“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 said. “People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values.”