Former FBI director James Comey harshly criticized Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a wide-ranging interview Sunday in which he also revealed his personal conversations with President Trump, about whom he believes that it is “possible” that the Russian government have material that could be used for blackmail.
Rosenstein wrote a memo in May 2017 criticizing Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, which Trump said was the basis for firing Comey.
The former FBI director told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos during a wide-ranging five-hour interview that Rosenstein had “acted dishonorably” in writing the memo that Trump said was the basis of his decision to fire him, according to The Washington Post, which reviewed the full five-hour interview transcript.
Comey said that he came to believe that Rosenstein was “part of the family now. I can’t trust him.”
But Comey also said that Rosenstein would not fire special counsel Robert Mueller if ordered to do so by Trump, since Rosenstein “has an opportunity in overseeing Bob Mueller to restore some of his professional reputation.”
Comey, whose memoir will be released this week, also touched on what he said was Trump’s fixation with the claim, made in a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, that he had watched prostitutes urinate on each other in a Moscow hotel room in 2013. Comey claimed that Trump said he was contemplating ordering an investigation because he did not want “even a 1 percent chance” of his wife Melania believing the claims.
“I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there’s a 1 percent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?’” Comey recounted, indicating that he believed Trump did in fact engage in that action.
When asked by Stephanopoulos if the Russians “have something” on Trump, Comey replied, “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.”
Comey also claimed that Trump asked him for his loyalty — which Trump denies — and that Trump may have obstructed justice when he allegedly asked Comey to end the FBI’s investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn.