In his first interview since President Donald Trump fired him, former FBI Director James Comey said Trump was “morally unfit” to be President, but stopped short of calling for his impeachment.
“I don’t buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia,” he told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Sunday evening. “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.”
Comey went on to list of series of actions he thought were improprieties by the President: the “moral equivalence in Charlottesville,” Trump’s treatment of women as “pieces of meat,” his “lies” about “matters big and small and insists the American people believe it.”
“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,” he said. “The most important being truth. This President is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be President.”
Despite his moral opposition to the President, Comey said impeaching Trump would “let the American people off the hook” and “short circuit” their duty to vote.
“People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values,” he said. “We’ll fight about guns. We’ll fight about about taxes. We’ll fight about all those other things down the road. But you cannot have, as president of the United States, someone who does not reflect the values that I believe Republicans treasure and Democrats treasure and Independents treasure. That is the core of this country. That’s our foundation. And so impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that.”
Trump has not responded since the entire ABC News interview aired, but unloaded on Comey in a series of tweets Sunday calling Comey “not smart!” and the “WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”
Comey’s highly-anticipated interview with ABC was the launch of his publicity tour for his book release, officially set for Tuesday.
Watch a clip of Comey’s comments below: