CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour asked former FBI director James Comey Tuesday why he didn’t “shut down” the “lock her up” chant popular among Trump supporters during the 2016 election. Amanpour claimed the chant about jailing Hillary Clinton was potentially “dangerous” and “hate speech.”
“Of course, ‘lock her up’ was a feature of the 2016 Trump campaign,” Amanpour said, asking “do you in retrospect wish that people like yourself, the FBI, I mean, the people in charge of law and order, had shut down that language — that it was dangerous potentially, that it could’ve created violence, that it’s kind of hate speech. Should that have been allowed?”
Comey replied by explaining the First Amendment to the CNN host.
“That’s not the role for government to play,” he said. “The beauty of this country is people can say what they want, even if it’s misleading and it’s demagoguery.”
He added that “the people who should have shut it down were Republicans, who understand the rule of law and the values that they claim to stand for. Shame on them, but it wasn't a role for government to play."
In another part of that interview, Comey responded to the accusation that his reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails 11 days before the election had cost her votes.
"My view, and the view of my team was, we cannot conceal from the American people that the investigation we told them, and fought to tell them, is done, is not done," he argued. "And the result could change. We just couldn’t do that."