ABC Presses Comey on Trump’s Fitness for Office, Need for Impeachment

Shortly before ABC wrapped up their hour-long special interview on Sunday night with former FBI Director James Comey, Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos pressed Comey on whether or not President Trump was fit to be president and whether or not he needed to be impeached. The answers may or may not be surprising.

Almost a year has passed since James Comey was fired by President Trump. Since then, he's come to some stark conclusions about the use of power and moral leadership,” Stephanopoulos said as they were coming back from a commercial break. “You write that President Trump is unethical, untethered to the truth. Is Donald Trump unfit to be president?

At first, Comey said “yes,” but clarified that he didn’t “buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia.” Ouch. That's quite the blow to CNN’s Brian Stelter and how he thinks about the President. “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,” he added.

But people like Stelter were quickly redeemed as Comey asserted that Trump was “morally unfit to be President.” “A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person's not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds,” he said.

 

 

There's something more important than that 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 continued. “The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be President.

After asking Comey to elaborate on why Trump was unfit to be President, Stephanopoulos sought a solution from the former FBI head. “What is the remedy? Should Donald Trump be impeached,” he wondered.

According to Comey, the solution was not impeachment, but for the country to go to the polls and vote Trump 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. People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values.

But you cannot have, as president of the United States, someone who does not reflect the values that I believe Republicans treasure and Democrats treasure and Independents treasure,” Comey declared. “That is the core of this country. That's our foundation. And so impeachment, in a way, would short-circuit that.

So, Comey wants President Trump out of office.

Transcript below, click "expand" to read:

ABC's James Comey Exclusive Interview
April 15, 2018
10:56:54 PM Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULS: Almost a year has passed since James Comey was fired by President Trump. Since then, he's come to some stark conclusions about the use of power and moral leadership. You write that President Trump is unethical, untethered to the truth. Is Donald Trump unfit to be President?

JAMES COMEY: Yes. But not in the way m-- I often hear people talk about it. I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. 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. A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person's not fit to be President of the United States, on moral grounds. And that's not a policy statement. Again, I don't care what your views are on guns or immigration or taxes. There's something more important than that 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. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're the former director of the F.B.I. You've served in senior positions in the Department of Justice for Republican and Democratic presidents. And you think Donald Trump is unfit-- s-- the bottom line standard, unfit to be President?

COMEY: I do. I do. And I-- I-- I hope one of the things that comes outta the Trump administration his first term is a recognition that, as much as we fight about those policy issues in this country, what's at the core of this nation, we are just a collection of ideas. And at the core of those ideas is that there is a thing called truth. There is the rule of law. There is integrity. Those things matter before any fights about policies. And people who tell themselves, "Well, yes, Donald Trump is unethical but I'm getting the right Supreme Court justice or the right regulatory rollback," are kidding themselves because if we lose that tether to the truth, if that stops being the norm at the heart of our public life, what are we? Where are we as a country? So I worry sometimes people think I'm talking about politics. Not in the way we normally talk about in this country. But I hope in the most important way. Values matter. This President does not reflect the values of this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you are right, what is the remedy? Should Donald Trump be impeached?

COMEY: Impeachment is-- is a question of law and fact and politics. And so that'll be determined by people gather--

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're a citizen. You have a judgment.

COMEY: Yeah, I'll tell you, I'll give you a strange answer. 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. People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values. We'll fight about guns. We'll fight about taxes. We'll fight about all those other things down the road. But you cannot have, as president of the United States, someone who does not reflect the values that I believe Republicans treasure and Democrats treasure and Independents treasure. That is the core of this country. That's our foundation. And so impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that.

(…)


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