In the latest stretch of his book tour, fired FBI director James Comey sat with CNN’s Jake Tapper Thursday to discuss his views on Trump and the claims in his book “A Higher Loyalty.”
Tapper quoted part of Comey’s book where he says he has a “lifelong hatred of bullies.”
He asked Comey, “Do you think President Trump is a bully? And do you hate him?”
“I definitely don't hate him,” Comey replied. “There are things he does that make me uncomfortable and I think are inappropriate, that are in some ways bully-like behavior. But I don't hate Donald Trump. I don't even dislike Donald Trump.”
Earlier in the interview, Comey couldn’t even tell Tapper if he thought the nation would be better off had Hillary Clinton won the election, despite saying in earlier interview that Trump is “morally unfit to be president.”
“Do you think the nation would be better off if Hillary Clinton had won?” Tapper asked.
“I can’t answer that question,” Comey says when asked whether he thinks the US would have been better off if Hillary Clinton had been elected president https://t.co/HzVqTeHbi9— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 19, 2018
“I can't answer that question,” Comey said. “That hypothetical is too hard to go back in time to try to answer.”
“You paint a pretty dire picture of President Trump," Tapper replied, seeming taken aback. "It's hard to imagine how you don't think the nation is better off if Hillary Clinton had won.”
“I don't think about it in those terms, Jake,” Comey said. “We have the current president who in my view was legitimately elected, serving as president. The question is, is he adhering to our values? He’s clearly not. I think the first thing to do is not get numb to it.”
Tapper pressed further, commenting that “it’s interesting that you won’t go as far as to say that Hillary Clinton would be—that the nation would be better off if Hillary would be president—because you have called for the nation to respond to the challenge of Trump in your view by voting, presumably by voting against what he represents.”
“Is that not a fair interpretation?” he asked.
“I think of it in terms of voting for something else, which is the core values of this country, which are more important than any policy dispute,” Comey replied. "So I don't care whether people find in it a Republican or Democrat or neither. It’s important that the leaders reflect the values because that's all we are.”
In the interview, Comey also reacted to reports that the DOJ is expected to make his memos, memorializing his conversations with Trump, available to Congress, telling Tapper "it's fine by me." He said he's "totally fine with transparency," and that people would see he's been consistent since the beginning.