James Comey Condemns Trump in Senate Hearing: His Comments Cultivate ‘Radioactive Stew’ of ‘Racist Violence’
Former FBI Director James Comey accused President Donald Trump on Wednesday of cultivating what he described as a “radioactive stew” involving “racist violence,” a response to Trump’s remarks at Tuesday evening’s presidential debate.
The comments came in response to a question from Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who highlighted the president’s comment at the debate that a group called the Proud Boys should “stand back and stand by.”
“When the president of the United States starts talking in that way, about that kind of group, he’s pulling out of that radioactive stew the control rods that we’ve used for 50 years to suppress racist violence,” Comey said. “It is a deeply disturbing development.
“It gives them license, and it makes them cool in the eyes of the people who make up that radioactive stew,” Comey added. “And so it will attract more people to their warped view of the world and to their groups. It is, it is a free pass to people that nobody wants in their communities. And I don’t know whether today the president has tried to correct what he said, but I would sure hope he would.”
Trump made the comment in response to moderator Chris Wallace asking him to condemn white supremacists. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden interjected to name the Proud Boys, prompting Trump to respond. The remarks were interpreted by many at the time as encouraging the group, though campaign adviser Jason Miller said Wednesday Trump was suggesting the group “stand back” from interfering with law enforcement.
“The FBI is fighting a fire of racist violence and with words like that, the president is using a fire hose to spray gasoline on that fire,” Comey said. “And as maybe he misspoke maybe when he said, ‘stand down and stand by,’ he meant something else — I’m sure, for the sake of our whole country, he’ll say that today what he really meant and condemn these groups.”
Watch above via the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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