Comey says FBI's reputation has worsened, but would have been even worse without him

Fired FBI Director James Comey said in an interview that aired Tuesday morning that the FBI's credibility is worse no...

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 3:09 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 3:09 PM

Fired FBI Director James Comey said in an interview that aired Tuesday morning that the FBI's credibility is worse now than it was a few years ago but would be even worse had it not been for his actions leading the bureau.

"It's worse. But again, people can disagree about this. And people I respect will. But my judgment is it would be worse today had we not picked the least bad alternative," Comey said, speaking with NPR's "Morning Edition."

"I think the decisions that we had to make and lots of other follow-ons, sure, the Department of Justice's and the FBI's reputation has been hurt," he continued.

Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last year, also said that the Justice Department and the FBI are "under daily siege from the current president."

'This is not normal'

The President tweeted on Sunday that Comey should be jailed for allegedly leaking classified information to journalists and lying to Congress, though there's no evidence that Comey committed any wrongdoing or broke any laws. In his NPR interview, Comey referenced the President's comments, saying that the statements are "not normal."

"The President of the United States just said that a private citizen should be jailed. And I think the reaction of most of us was, 'meh, that's another one of those things.' This is not normal. This is not OK," Comey said.

He continued, "There's a danger that we will become numb to it, and we will stop noticing the threats to our norms. The threats to the rule of law and the threats most of all to the truth. ... And there's a great danger we'll be numbed into forgetting that, and then only a fool would be consoled by some policy victory."

Earlier this week during his first sitdown interview since being fired, Comey told ABC News that he believed Trump was "morally unfit" for office.

Obstruction 'may be there, it may not be'

Last year, Comey testified to Congress that Trump asked him to let go of pursuing further investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had been fired.

According to Comey's testimony, Trump said: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go."

Comey told NPR that the Oval Office interaction with the President "could be obstruction of justice." However, he added, "it would depend upon what the full scope of the evidence is with respect to intent, because obstruction of justice requires a demonstration of corrupt intent. And I'm just a witness when it comes to that particular incident, the February 14 incident."

"I don't know what the evidence is that the prosecutor and investigators have gathered with respect to intent," Comey remarked, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

"It may be there, it may not be. I just - it doesn't make sense, and I can't responsibly offer an opinion from my vantage point," Comey added, later saying that as a witness observing that conduct, "it could be obstruction of justice, but I don't know and can't say without a full piece of the picture."

The NPR interview marks one of many press appearances part of a promotional circuit for Comey's new book, "A Higher Loyalty," which was released Tuesday. CNN's Jake Tapper interviews Comey live on Thursday, and CNN's Anderson Cooper will host a town hall with Comey on April 25.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 6166
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Hennepin945441502
Ramsey40698749
Dakota33623354
Anoka31398368
Washington20579237
Stearns18111190
St. Louis14006251
Scott1221199
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Sherburne831270
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Douglas379766
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Mower374429
Goodhue358163
Polk330760
McLeod328647
Beltrami316148
Morrison314645
Lyon306139
Becker289439
Itasca287843
Isanti286143
Carlton284443
Steele279510
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Nicollet230538
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 312194

Reported Deaths: 4433
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46975465
Linn18114279
Scott15900172
Black Hawk14123243
Woodbury13145181
Johnson1231752
Dubuque11651159
Pottawattamie9182115
Dallas910872
Story883538
Cerro Gordo474372
Webster473377
Warren461539
Sioux460457
Clinton459168
Marshall432262
Buena Vista397230
Muscatine396578
Des Moines395543
Plymouth353670
Wapello351798
Jasper333359
Lee326932
Marion310853
Jones275250
Henry269131
Carroll258934
Bremer250448
Crawford235824
Washington224133
Boone223517
Benton213950
Mahaska198637
Jackson195332
Tama190959
Dickinson189229
Kossuth180944
Delaware176536
Clay173021
Wright167624
Fayette166324
Hamilton162530
Buchanan162324
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Harrison158762
Hardin157831
Cedar155819
Clayton153949
Butler152324
Page148115
Floyd141936
Cherokee140327
Mills138517
Lyon137933
Poweshiek135424
Hancock132424
Allamakee131530
Iowa128022
Madison124210
Calhoun12379
Grundy122828
Jefferson122425
Winnebago122329
Mitchell117137
Louisa116430
Cass115343
Chickasaw113812
Appanoose113040
Sac112815
Union111723
Emmet111332
Humboldt107819
Shelby106427
Guthrie104624
Franklin103618
Unassigned10210
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Montgomery89224
Keokuk86426
Howard85919
Monroe82620
Clarke8199
Pocahontas78711
Ida76430
Davis70421
Adair69720
Greene6977
Monona68418
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Osceola65011
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