Last night was the interview of James Comey as a result of his book coming out this week.
CNN features an article with the 70 top quotes from the interview. However 15 stand out to me as the most memorable:
1. “I liken President Trump in the book to a forest fire. Going to do tremendous damage. Going to damage those important norms. But a forest fire gives healthy things a chance to grow that had no chance before that fire.”
2. “So all of us have to constantly be involved and call it out when we see the truth endangered, when we see lying.”
14.”In late July , the FBI got information that there was somebody who had had — was a foreign policy advisor named [George] Papadopoulos to the Trump campaign.
16. “I discovered President Trump wouldn’t even do it privately, and I don’t know why that is.”
Comey suggests here that Trump won’t bash Russian President Vladimir Putin in private, which he finds baffling.
37. “I did not go into the business about — people peeing on each other, I just thought it was a weird enough experience for me to be talking to the incoming president of the United States about prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow.”
“People peeing on each other.” Holy moly.
38. “He was very defensive and started to launch into– for reasons that I don’t understand, started going into the list of people who had accused him of touching them improperly, sexual assault and how he hadn’t done this, he hadn’t done that, he hadn’t done that.”
This is Trump’s first reaction to the Comey briefing on the Russia hotel allegations. His first one!
39. “I don’t know whether the — the– current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013. It’s possible, but I don’t know.”
I mean, it is impossible to overestimate the seriousness of this statement. The former FBI Director isn’t able to say, conclusively, that the president wasn’t involved with prostitutes in Russia.
50. “He said, ‘I expect loyalty, I need loyalty.'”
Trump says he never said any such thing. Someone is not telling the truth.
53. “On and on and on and on. Everyone agrees, everyone agrees, I did this, the– I never assaulted these women, I never made fun of a reporter.”
The Trump presidency, in three sentences.
54. “He is someone who is — for whom the truth is not a high value.”
I actually think Trump thinks he is telling the truth. Because he repeats it to himself enough times that he becomes convinced that whatever he says is the truth no matter what the actual facts bear out. The Washington Post has documented 2000 lie
58. “I think it’s possible. I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”
This is Comey’s response to a Stephanopoulos’ question about whether the Russians might actually have something on Trump. His inability to say “absolutely not” is — and should be — stunning.
59. “If he didn’t know he was doing something improper, why did he kick out the attorney general and the vice president of the United States and the leaders of the intelligence community?”
60. “It’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.”
A big accusation here from Comey in regards that Feb. 14 meeting…
68. “I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.”
This will be the lasting and lingering quote of this interview and maybe of the entire Comey book rollout.
69. “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.”
Comey is saying Trump is amoral, that he lacks any basic moral structure at all. Which is a very dangerous thing for the leader of a country.
However my favorite part of the interview corresponded to pictures we have seen of Comey in the Oval Office. First Comey described himself trying to camoflage himself into the drapes.
Then his wife describes the look on his face as the “Oh Shit” look when he was called out by the President.
Perhaps that description and the pictures to tell the story, were compelling to persuade me that Comey was telling the truth.