Comey: Trump “Morally Unfit To Be President”

Former FBI Director James Comey interviewed by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos (4/15/18)

My CliffsNotes:

  • Nothing like “American Idol” as ABC’s lead-in. Who will the judges believe in: Comey or Trump?
  • Stephanopoulos (GS) sets up how both sides hate him.
  • James Comey (JC) thought Trump (DT) “had no chance”. After the election, a “whole lot of me was thinking, Oh my God, did we have some role in this?”
  • Don’t blame JC for trying to figure out if DT’s hair is real. I would too. Good guess on the tanning goggles, hadn’t thought of that.
  • JC on DT team: “No one asked what’s coming next from the Russians, how might we stop it.”
  • JC on how it feels to compare DT to a mob boss: “Very strange. And I don’t do it lightly. And I’m not doing that to suggest the President is out breaking legs and shaking down shopkeepers.”
  • His answer when DT said “I expect loyalty. I need loyalty” JC: “You will get honesty from me.” DT said “Honest loyalty.” JC said it was a mistake for him to agree to that phrase.
  • GS on the hooker stuff: “What was the look on his face when you told him that?” JC: “Very defensive. And started going into a list of people who had accused him of touching them improperly, sexual assault, how he hadn’t done this, hadn’t done that.”
  • GS: “How weird was that briefing?” JC: “Really weird. I just wanted to get it done and get out of there.”
  • JC on investigating Clinton: “I knew this was a no-win situation. … The Deputy Director looked at me and said, ‘You know you’re screwed.’ I smiled, said, ‘Yep, nobody gets out alive.'”
  • GS asks if announcing no charges for Clinton (unusual move for an FBI director) was about “ego”.  JC: “If it was about ego why would I step out in front of the organization and get shot a thousand times.”
  • GS on critics of JC criticizing Clinton: They “say we simply do not bloody up people we choose not to prosecute”. JC: “That’s fair criticism.”
  • JC on why not reveal DT campaign also under investigation (for Russian collusion): “Stare at the two cases and the posture they were in. The Hillary Clinton email case was public.” DT investigation had “just started, we didn’t know whether we had anything, so it would have been brutally unfair to those people to talk about it, and it would have jeapordized the investigation.”
  • GS on condemnation for his public letter to Congress (just before election) re-opening Clinton email investigation: “What did it feel like to be James Comey in those days?” JC: “It sucked. I walked around vaguely sick to my stomach, feeling beaten down, felt like I was totally alone, that everybody hated me, and there wasn’t a way out because it really was the right thing to do.”
  • GS on listening to DT make claims during one-on-one dinner: “As you’re listening are you thinking President Trump is a liar?” JC: “Yes.”
  • GS on private Oval Office meeting when DT said he hoped JC could let Michael Flynn investigation go: “Was President Trump obstructing justice?” JC: “Possibly. It’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.”
  • GS: “Is Donald Trump unfit to be president?” JC: “Yes. … I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”
  • GS asks if he believes the Russians “have something” on DT. JC: “I think it’s possible. I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I would say about a President of the United States, but it’s possible.” GS: “That’ stunning. You can’t say for certain that the President of the United States is not compromised by the Russians.” JC: “It is stunning, and I wish I wasn’t saying it. But it’s the truth.”
  • GS: “Should President Trump be impeached?” JC: “I hope not. … That would let the American people off the hook and let something happen indirectly that I believe they are duty bound to do directly. People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values.”

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57 thoughts on “Comey: Trump “Morally Unfit To Be President””

  1. More Comey on Russia possibly compromising Trump, in USA TODAY interview out this morning. Worth noting: this is someone who oversaw the investigation until his firing, so he’s seen plenty the world outside Mueller’s probe hasn’t seen …

    “It’s hard to explain some things without at least leaving your mind open to that being a possibility. There’s a non-zero possibility that the Russians have some, some sway over him that is rooted in his personal experience, and I don’t know whether that’s the business about the activity in a Moscow hotel room or finances or something else.”

  2. Comey on Trump/Putin (USA TODAY):

    “At least in my experience, he won’t criticize Vladimir Putin even in private. I can understand why a president…might not want to criticize publicly another leader” in the interests of forging a good relationship. “But privately? Sitting with the person in charge of countering the Russian threat in the United States? Privately not being willing to do that? That always struck me.”

  3. A wonderful week with fireworks from the lyrids and comey.   Last night was the first of many comey-isms we will be hearing during all of his interviews.

     

  4. I didn’t watch much of the Comey interview. I think what’s going on in the Mueller and SDNY cases are where SFB May have problems. Comey interviews won’t change many minds and won’t lead to much more than book sales. I took a nap and watched the NBA. 😔

  5. “I just wanted to get it done & get out of there.”  That’s what she said.

    The most telling thing was that nobody in Trumpco asked how to stop the Russians going forward.    They are ALL in on it.

  6. pogo, latest goper speaks of his stance to protect mueller

    from politico:
    ‘Spare me’: Tillis draws GOP fire with pro-Mueller push
     
    The Republican senator is eager to shield the special counsel from Trump — regardless of potential blowback from conservatives or the president.
    [….]
    Tillis doesn’t think Trump will ultimately fire Mueller even as the president rages over the expanding Russia probe. But he has an impassioned response for his conservative critics nonetheless: “Spare me.”
     
    “Courage is when you know you’re going to do something that’s going to anger your base,” Tillis said in an interview in his Senate office.
     
    “The same people who would criticize me for filing this bill would be absolutely angry if I wasn’t pounding the table for this bill if we were dealing with Hillary Clinton,” he argued. “So spare me your righteous indignation.”
    […]
    “I can tell you conservatives in my district are not happy about it,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
     
    Some of his colleagues are also concerned.
     
    “It’s not good politics in the end,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). “It says you don’t trust the president.”
     
    But Tillis has a lengthy rationale for working with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on the bill, which would allow a special counsel a 10-day window to fight a potential removal by the Trump administration and could soon see a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
     
    He argues that passing the law now would offer future protections against liberal presidents under investigation, specifically “a President Warren or a President Sanders or a President Booker.” And if successful, he’d remove a major talking point from Democrats who have been slamming the GOP for not doing more to safeguard Mueller and the rule of law.
     
    But more than anything, Tillis wants to take a stand against what he calls “situational ethics”: Politicians changing their stances based on who is in the White House without sticking to any deeply held philosophical moorings.
     
    “The only way you get these things done [is] when you have somebody who is willing to take the heat when you’re in the majority,” Tillis said. “You see it all the time. Hammer the table when it benefits you, not when it disadvantages your guy that has the same jersey on. There’s no rational explanation except being duplicitous.”
    […]
    It was Tillis himself who first proposed the bill to protect Mueller in a conversation with Coons last summer, an important bipartisan partnership that’s survived tough battles over taxes and health care.
     
    Coons was struck by Tillis’ fight for reparations for black victims of a North Carolina eugenics program. And Tillis was impressed that Coons was willing to fend off Democrats who wanted to pile on to the special counsel bill and turn it into a partisan attack on Trump.
    “He was pretty clear,” Coons said, recalling how Tillis threatened to drop his support unless each new Democratic co-sponsor was matched by a Republican.

    […]
    Tillis already helped break a legislative logjam, by merging his and Coons’ bill with a competing version from Booker and Graham. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is now expected to put it up for a vote on the panel by the end of the month, and it is likely to pass the committee.
     
    Getting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring it to the floor, however, will be far more difficult. McConnell and other Republican leaders have expressed concern that the bill may not be constitutional because it erodes executive powers. It’s also an explosive issue that would divide the party, which McConnell always attempts to avoid.
     
    Tillis, a member of the Senate GOP whip team, said it is on him to convince McConnell that it’s worth bringing up.
     
    “It’s on the member to present a case for using chamber time for the bill. It is on the member to convince the leader that we have the votes to pass it,” Tillis said. “This isn’t the leader’s problem. … This is my responsibility.”
     

  7. there they go again… no wonder manafort, cohen & co. won’t talk.

    bbc:  Russian reporter Borodin dead after mystery fall
    A Russian investigative journalist who wrote about the deaths of mercenaries in Syria has died in hospital after falling from his fifth-floor flat.
    Maxim Borodin was found badly injured by neighbours in Yekaterinburg and taken to hospital, where he later died.
    Local officials said no suicide note was found but the incident was unlikely to be of a criminal nature.
    However, a friend revealed Borodin had said his flat had been surrounded by security men a day earlier.
    Vyacheslav Bashkov described Borodin as a “principled, honest journalist” and said Borodin had contacted him at five o’clock in the morning on 11 April saying there was “someone with a weapon on his balcony and people in camouflage and masks on the staircase landing”.
    […]
    The chief editor of Novyy Den, where Borodin worked, did not believe his death could have been an accident and said there was no reason for him to kill himself.

    What did Borodin write?
    In recent weeks, the journalist had written about Russian mercenaries known as the “Wagner Group” who were reportedly killed in Syria on 7 February in a confrontation with US forces.
    [….]

    He had also investigated political scandals, including allegations made by a Belarusian escort known as Nastya Rybka in a video posted by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

    [….continues…]

     

  8. I didn’t watch the interview; I did watch MSNBC’s pseudo interview by Chris Matthews based on Comey’s lead-up to the publication of his book that I will not buy. I will not give him a monetary reward for f**king-over American Democracy.

  9. Well, I’ve procrastinated long enough. I’m going to buckle down and do my taxes right now–as soon as I finish this cup of java and get a fresh one. Should be done in an hour or so.

  10. roll call:
    Comey ‘Lied in Congress,’ Trump Charges After Interview Airs
     
    Fired DBI director calls Trump ‘morally unfit’ for presidency
    [….]

    In the Monday tweet, Trump accused Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whom he also fired, of being “Disgruntled,” alleging they and other FBI officials collectively “committed many crimes!” (The president did not specify which crimes he believes Comey and other committed. He often makes such charges without elaborating.)

    […]
    As Trump and Comey trade insults and differing accounts of events in which both were involved, the public, so far at least, is siding with the fired FBI director.
    A new ABC News-Washington Post poll show 48 percent of those surveyed believe Comey was more believable than Trump, while 32 percent said the president was more believable.
     

  11. for those who can’t handle the full interview that’s why I made CliffsNotes for you above. What mainly interests me about Comey: he is the only person who has seen the investigation on the inside (at least the early stages) and is free to talk (mostly), so I find it interesting to read between his lines.

    Off now to my first pre-surgery orthopedic appt. Not sure what we’re doing, just informational I guess.

  12. Like Flatus…  I too will not be buying Comey’s book.  I did watch the interview.  Comey is an interesting person.  IMO, he did interfere with the 2016 election.  But he also has done a lot of good with all the bringing of mob heads to justice.  IMO, he’s much more believable than trumpty dumpty. Glad he said that SFB was not morally fit to be president.  If I thought that SFB couldn’t harm this country more, I’d agree with him on impeachment…  but unfortunately, lots more damage can be done.

  13. regarding who’s the real liar, a wapo article from January 10 2018:

    President Trump has made more than 2,000 false or misleading claims over 355 days

     
    President Trump has broken 2,000.
     
    With just 10 days before he finishes his first year as president, Trump has made 2,001 false or misleading claims in 355 days, according to our database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of more than 5.6 claims a day.
     
    When we started this project, originally aimed at the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. At that pace, it appeared unlikely the president would break 2,000 in a year. But the longer the president has been in the job, the more frequently he touts an assortment of exaggerated, dubious or false claims. (Our full interactive graphic can be found here.)
     
    As regular readers know, the president has a tendency to repeat himself — often. There are now nearly 70 claims that he has repeated three or more times. Indeed, he crossed the 2,000 threshold during his one-hour discussion on Jan. 9 with lawmakers about immigration, tossing out some of his old favorites about the subject…..
    [….continues…]

    no wonder “48 percent of those surveyed believe Comey was more believable than Trump, while 32 percent said the president was more believable” on the abc/wapo recent poll.
      bet most of those 32% only watch faux news and never read a newspaper.

  14. Ah, my Fed return has been completed, filed, and accepted by the Feds. Now they can file the SC one. Ended-up paying $44 to our Fed govt and $46 to SC beyond my withholdings.

  15. Trumpco filing on a Sunday, the Lord’s day, to stop all hell from breaking out when the info nabbed from Cohen is revealed.

    Sunlight burns dudn’t it ya old vampire?

     

  16. Trump is pushing the Comey revelations for a simple reason; he’s a great twinkly object to distract from the potential criminal charges coming via Cohen and Mueller.

     

  17. I have known a lot of career civil service attorneys and many of them are a lot like Comey     Basically good people but especially the males seem to think they are the only ones that can be fair and have the best overview of issues.  It tend to make them a bit self-involved.  But looking over his career – I think he did make a mistake in the way he handled both of the Clinton press conferences and should not have explained anything.

  18. I likely won’t buy Comey’s book although I bet parts of it would be interesting reading if nothing more.  Heck, I still haven’t bought Gregg Allman’s book (although I did get Southern Blood, and if the first track – My Only True Friend – doesn’t just about take you to tears knowing that he wrote it when he knew he was on the glide path to death’s door then you need to get to a doc and see if you still have a heart.

    T minus 45 minutes to Cohen’s (and Trump’s) day in court over the claim of attorney client privilege.  Stormy and Mike plan to be there. Should be decent legal theater.

  19. I might buy it.  We bought Fire and Fury.  Mr C’s rightwing sister gave us a Barnes and Noble gift card and we could use that.    I had a friend a lawyer in the public sector and he lived for political intrigue and scandal.  He died a few years back.   It’s too bad he is missing all this.  I would be most interested in hearing what he thought of Comey’s Clinton errors.

  20. Looks like Cohen forgot a few things from law school.  If a judge tells you to deliver something, you do not tell the judge no.  Could it be that Cohen is trying to hide in jail?

  21. Mr C’s rightwing sister gave us a Barnes and Noble gift card and we could use that.

    KGC…. now that is a great reason to buy the book, IMO.  You won’t be using your hard earned money… but a rightwinger’s hard earned money.

    Craig…  who is that cool cat with the shades?

      

  22. “Could it be that Cohen is trying to hide in jail?”

    bbronc, my very tho’t.  knows they’ll make him comfy, limited visitation, the tightest of  tight security.  get some rest for a change and not have to worry about accidentally falling off one’s balcony or off-ing on spiked tea.

  23. hollywoodreporter:

    Sean Hannity Named as Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen’s Mystery Third Client

     
    n court Monday, the Fox News host was revealed to be Cohen’s mysterious third client, in addition to the president and Republican fundraiser Elliot Broidy.
     
    President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen was reluctant to name one of his other clients during a Monday hearing — but after pressure from a New York federal judge it was revealed that mystery client is Fox News host Sean Hannity.
    […continues…]

  24. Sean Hannity hired the fixer to beat up the people organizing a boycott and threaten them

  25. For those who believe the ladies deserve equal time, here are the likely fillies in the Kentucky Oaks

    Rank
    Points
    Horse
    Jockey
    Trailmix
    Sire
    Dam

    1
    160
    Midnight Bisou
    Mike Smith

    Midnight Lute
    Diva Delight

    2
    154
    Monomoy Girl
    F. Geroux

    Tapizar
    Drumette

    3
    115
    Sassy Sienna

    Midshipman
    Tap For Gold

    4
    112
    My Miss Lilly

    Tapit
    Wicked Deed

    5
    100
    Chocolate Martini

    Broken Vow
    NicksAppealingLady

    6
    100
    Coach Rocks

    Oxbow
    Mexican Moonlight

    7
    90
    Rayya

    Tiz Wonderful
    Spread

    8
    84
    Wonder Gadot

    Medaglia D’Oro
    Loving Vindication

    9
    80
    Eskimo Kisses

    To Honor and Serve
    Silver Colors

    10
    70
    Take Charge Paula

    Take Charge Indy
    Perfect Paula

    11
    62
    Cosmic Burst

    Violences
    Peggy Ring

    12
    50
    Blamed

    Blame
    Salsa Star

    13
    40
    Amy’s Challenge

    Artie Schiller
    Jump Up

    14
    35
    Patrona Margarita

    Special Rate
    Margarita Mistress

    15
    30
    Classy Act

    Into Mischief
    Acting Class

    16
    24
    Princess Warrior

    Midshipmans
    Sessa

    17
    20
    Virginia Key

    Distorted Humor
    Our Khrysty

    18
    15
    Red Ruby

    Tiz Now
    Caroni

  26. what we have here is a failure to communicate:

    judge is told sean Hannity is a client of cohen

    hanniity  says he’s never had a client relationship with cohen

     

    sooo,  if you believe sean – there was no breech of atty/client privilege but there would be a misstatement (lie?) to a judge in a formal hearing.  OR cohen didn’t lie and sean did.
    can’t have it both ways.

  27. Let’s go with Sean’s interpretation it makes it worse for Cohen and it means all the material related to Hannity can be released.

  28. RR, we’re going to have to start growing our own popcorn trees!

    and btw i usually browse our media library of user-posted pics in comments for our weekly featured image — not sure who posted the feisty cat pic, just caught my eye

  29. …seems to me Macron is manipulating Trump towards a similar objective of Putin’s- to expand France’s sphere of influence in the Middle East, with reduced cost to France’s military and prestige.

    The message to the world is clear- if you have a foreign policy objectve, manipulate Trump to do it for you.  Yay, America!

  30. To recap, Cohen had only 3 clients – for one he paid to silence a porn star for Trump, for another he paid a Playmate to keep silent about getting pregnant by and an abortion for a top GOP donor. That leaves Sean, so we can guess what Cohen did for him – this line in Hannity’s statement aimed at stopping the obvious speculation: said his dealings with Cohen “never involved any matter between me and a third party”

  31. Craig,

    I’ve submitted my Derby column for you to schedule wherever it suits your purposes.  It is general information fun.  The Oaks is on 5/4 and The Derby is 5/5 but any time during that week will work.  I’ll keep everybody updated on actual horses running and the bets on same in the comments.

     

  32. I don’t have time to read the things I actually want to read so I’ll depend on second hand info.

  33. Speculation is soo 20th century- just wait a day and a half for the sordid details to surface out of legitimate channels, as they inevitably do, these days, at no cost to your own credibility! Hooray for the slightest modicum of patience!  Woot woot!

  34. I tell you, that Kellyanne has a way with words:

    ““The president is very confounded that this person [Comey] is always able to divert the spotlight to him,” Conway said during an appearance on “Good Morning America” on ABC. “He has a very deft way of making things about him.”

    My vote for most ironic quote of the day (month?)

  35. My money is on cohen having cleaned up the case of a dead 6th grade boy that hannity found next to him in bed one morning.

  36. Jamie, I’ll ride Rayya to victory in the Oaks.

    No sense in havin’ the race now that you all know who is gonna win.  snicker

  37. Trumpsky to win, Broidy to place…and Hannity to show.

    Sean says he didn’t hire Cohen in the “traditional” sense, so that means no attorney/client privilege, right?

  38. If Fox/Hannity was operating as Trump’s media arm during the campaign, specifically by Sean communicating with Cohen (possibly to relay how Moscow wanted to present things), that would make for a lot of free air time for the campaign. Tsk Tsk

  39. When will people learn that Trump is the anti-Midas ..everything he touches turns to sh-t

  40. Sean says he didn’t hire Cohen in the “traditional” sense…

    BiD, traditionally the client pays the atty. perhaps in this case it was the other way around….   all those pro-twit minutes sean provided on tv prior to the election  (you know, the untraditional kind of campaign ads that don’t get reported to f.e.c.) cost somebody something and it sure wasn’t him.

  41. BB, yep, goddammit. Harry is a year younger than me.

    This attorney client thing can present problems. It’s viewed through the client’s eyes. Gotta watch what you talk about at cocktail parties.

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