Two years to the date after he was unceremoniously fired from his job as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by Donald J. Trump, James Comey took questions Thursday night at a CNN town hall hosted by Anderson Cooper.
Comey, who has previously gone on record to say he does not believe Trump is “morally fit to be president of the United States,” took questions from a town hall audience made up of students and professionals from more than a dozen states who now live in the D.C. area.
Being that it was the two-year anniversary of his firing, one question Comey fielded was how he feels about that moment—one in which he found out he was fired via a television broadcast.
“I was numb because I didn’t expect to be fired,” Comey said.
“I knew by that point the president didn’t like me, but I thought that’s OK because that will keep a separation. So it still feels a little bit numbing, frankly, like it happened yesterday and a lifetime ago,” he said.
“And then with the help of my assistant in Washington, I figured out a guy was actually down knocking on the door of the FBI in Pennsylvania saying he had a letter for me from the president that I was fired. Long before I got the letter the media was told. That’s how it happened,” Comey said.
Comey was asked about his relationship with special counsel Robert Mueller. Comey said that he respects Mueller, but that the two men “don’t have that kind of relationship.”
“He’s certainly not obsessed with me in the way others seem to be,” Comey quipped.
Comey went on to say that he was not surprised by anything in the Mueller report.
“There were a lot of facts in the Mueller report that I didn’t know, but I knew it would be high-quality work if we got a chance as a country to read it. And what he describes about Russia’s intervention in our election didn’t surprise me at all. It confirmed what I knew from when I was at the [FBI]. And what he lied out about—the president’s efforts to obstruct justice was broader in scope than I personally knew, but given what I had seen, it didn’t surprise me, honestly,” he said.
Comey went on to say that it looks like Trump did obstruct justice and that based on the report, he believes there is a chargeable case for obstruction and witness tampering against the president. He suggested that the DOJ should “take a serious look” at charging Trump once he is no longer president.
And then came the hammer.
When asked why voters should prioritize Trump’s personal flaws over their own economic well-being, Comey kept it all the way real.
“You cannot have a president who’s a chronic liar. I don’t care what’s your passions around tax cuts or regulation or immigration—I respect difference there. The president of the United States cannot be someone who lies constantly. I thought Republicans agreed with that. It’s one of the reasons I’m no longer a Republican. I hope the American people will realize we have to start at that values level no matter what our political background and answer that question first. And if that’s a close question in an election, then get to the important policy differences.”
Whew. Speak that truth, James Comey. Speak that truth.
Of course, y’all’s little “president” caught wind of what Comey had to say, so of course, he had to get on Twitter to vent.
“James Comey is a disgrace to the FBI & will go down as the worst Director in its long and once proud history. He brought the FBI down, almost all Republicans & Democrats thought he should be FIRED, but the FBI will regain greatness because of the great men & women who work there!,” Trump wrote late Thursday night.
It’s almost as if you could take Trump’s tweet, replace Comey’s name with his and replace references to the FBI with the United States, and you’d have the perfect description of what is happening right now in this country.
But y’all’s little “president” lacks too much self-awareness to realize that.