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James Comey: There Was ‘Enough Smoke to Justify’ Russia Investigation, How Could FBI ‘Leave That Alone?’

Former FBI director James Comey reacted to the completion of the Mueller investigation on NBC Nightly News tonight.

He told Lester Holt he didn’t know what conclusion Robert Mueller would ultimately draw, but he’s encouraged that he was able to complete his work.

Holt asked if he had any second thoughts about the initial investigation and whether there was a “there there” to begin with.

“Oh no,” Comey said. “The investigation had to happened. It would have been irresponsible not to investigate. And we don’t investigate, despite what the partisans say, to find a particular result. We investigate to find out what’s true, and as best I can tell, it looks like Bob Mueller was allowed to do that, and that’s a great thing.”

Holt asked if he felt a “strong possibility” Trump was colluding with Russia.

“I really didn’t know,” Comey responded. “There was smoke and enough smoke to justify investigating. And obviously there was overwhelming evidence the Russians were interfering in the election to hurt one candidate and to help the other. Whether Americans were conspiring with him, I didn’t know, but we had to look at that.”

Comey defended the investigation and said, “We knew the Russians were engaged in a massive effort to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. And then we learn that a Trump campaign adviser had spoken to a Russian operative about the dirt they had on Hillary Clinton. Before any of us knew anything about it. How on Earth would the FBI leave that alone?”

You can watch above, via NBC.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac