Donald Trump is “morally unfit” to be the US president, says former FBI director James Comey, who has returned to the center of attention ahead of publishing a memoir recounting the controversies he was involved in during the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.
“Our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country, the most important being truth,” Comey told ABC News in an interview that was published on Sunday Night. “This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.”
The former FBI chief dismissed rumors flying around about Trump’s mental and physical incompetence to lead the White House.
“He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who’s tracking conversations and knows what’s going on. I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president,” he added.
Accusing the Republican head of state being an indiscriminate liar, Comey said, “sometimes he’s lying in ways that are obvious, sometimes he’s saying things that we may not know are true or false, and then there’s a spectrum in between.”
The interview was recorded last week, before Comey’s upcoming book “A Higher Royalty” was leaked to the media, according to ABC.
The memoir revolves around the two high-profile investigation that the ex-FBI chief led before and after the face-off between Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Democrats blame Comey’s handling of a probe into Clinton’s use of an illegal email server as the main reason for Clinton’s surprising defeat.
US President Donald Trump bashes former FBI director James Comey as “not smart”, ahead of Comey’s Trump book release this week.
Comey’s FBI also ran a controversial investigation into Trump and his team’s alleged “collusion” with Russia. The prolonged probe, which went on to involve Special Counsel Robert Mueller, eventually prompted the president to kick Comey out.
“When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,’” Trump said May last year, a few days after firing Comey.
Following his firing, Comey wrote to Congress in a letter that Trump had asked him for his personal royalty during a dinner prior to his following. Trump, however, rejected the claim.
The former FBI chief told ABC News that the title of his book was a direct reference to that meeting. He also accused Trump of actively seeking to “stain” people around him.
“The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him,” he argued.
He then suggested that Trump was afraid Russians knew his secrets.
“I think it’s possible. I don’t know,” Comey responded. “These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”