Quote of the Week #9
This week’s column is different. Last Sunday, ABC News (the American one) broadcasted an hour-long interview with former FBI director James Comey – and that was just part of it. The interview actually lasted five hours – but obviously you can’t air the whole thing. Comey said a lot of interesting things. Remember how he got a lot of shit for announcing the reopening of the investigation into Clinton’s private server affair about one week prior to the election? There is actually a solid reason for this. He also talked about his own ego. And obviously about Trump, who had him fired a few months into his presidency.
The following quotes are excerpts from the interview. The Saturday Paper’s chief correspondent Martin McKenzie-Murray wrote an excellent article about Comey in this week’s issue. Read it here.
“It stayed with me, that I’ve never seen him laugh. Not in public, not in private.”
“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.”
“I – and I’m not trying to, by the way, suggest that President Trump is out breaking legs and – you know, shaking down shopkeepers. But instead, what I’m talking about is that leadership culture constantly comes back to me when I think about my experience with the Trump administration. The – the loyalty oaths, the boss as the dominant center of everything, it’s all about how do you serve the boss, what’s in the boss’s interests. It’s the family, the family, the family, the family. That’s why it reminds me so much and not, ‘So what’s the right thing for the country and what are the values of the institutions that we’re dealing with?’”
“It was him talking almost the entire time, which I’ve discovered is something he frequently does. And so it would be monologue in this direction, monologue in that direction, monologue in a different direction.
And a constant series of assertions that – about the inauguration crowd, about how great my inauguration speech was, about all the free media – earned media, I think was his term, that I got during the campaign. 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.
And – I’m sure you’re wondering what question did I ask that would prompt those? None, zero. I didn’t ask any questions that I recall.”
“Speaking is really bad; concealing is catastrophic. If you conceal the fact that you have restarted the Hillary Clinton email investigation, not in some silly way but in a very, very important way that may lead to a different conclusion, what will happen to the institutions of justice when that comes out?”
“Because I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump. And so I’m sure that it – that it was a factor. Like I said, I don’t remember spelling it out, but it had to have been. That – that she’s going to be elected president, and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out.”
“One of the things I’ve struggled with my whole life is my ego and – and a sense that I – I have to be careful not to fall in love with my own view of things.”