James Comey appeared to be holding nothing back in his incrimination of the Trump administration. The former FBI Director insists that those under Trump have been placing both he and the FBI in a negative light. He also states that defamatory lies have been circling him by the Trump administration upon his firing.
Comey’s accusations occurred during Thurday’s hearing between Comey and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Comey states that various factors have been instigating him to “come out” about his time as FBI Director. For one, he relayed that the White House’s rationale for dismissing him from his position confused him. He also stated that the reasoning for this decision continued to change between his firing and the hearing.
In addition, Comey states that he, along with the FBI have been lied about by the Trump administration. According to The Hill:
“The administration chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly run,” Comey told a rapt hearing room.“Those were lies, plain and simple.”
President Trump last month shocked Washington with his abrupt dismissal of Comey, who was then investigating any coordination between the Trump team and Russia during the campaign.
The White House initially claimed that Comey was fired over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server — but Trump himself later told NBC’s Lester Holt that he was thinking of the Russia investigation when he made the decision.
That admission drew the most media attention — but he also told reporters that Comey wasn’t “doing a good job,” a claim a White House spokesperson backed up by arguing that the former director had lost the confidence of the “rank-and-file” at the bureau.
Comey vowed Thursday that he had long believed that as FBI director, he served at the discretion of the president and could be fired “for any reason or for no reason at all.”
But the variety of explanations given for his dismissal “confused me and gave me concern,” he said.
He was confused, he continued, because the president on multiple occasions had assured him he was doing a great job and would remain in the position.
“He told me repeatedly that he had talked to lots of people about me, including the attorney general, and had learned that I was doing a great job and was extremely well-liked by FBI workforce,” Comey said.
Press reports that the president told Russian officials that Comey’s dismissal “relieved great pressure” on him also gave him pause, the former FBI director added.
Comey’s demeanor was calm and collected when expressing his concerns and confusion about President Trump’s behavior. However, the former FBI Director became passionate once again when confronting the bureau’s criticisms.
Comey continually stood behind the FBI during the evening, insisting that the organization is strong, truthful, and independent.
Comey has a reputation of being strongly controversial during various points of his career. However, he has also been known to be a loyal and dependable supporter of the FBI for quite some time.
Before the hearing came to a close, Comey also made a direct address to his former colleagues. He stated:
“To my former colleagues: I am so sorry that I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to you properly. It was the honor of my life to serve beside you, to be part of the FBI family, and I will miss it for the rest of my life.”