During James Comey‘s interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, he was asked why he didn’t do more to stand up to President Donald Trump when he was still the director of the FBI.
As Guthrie spoke with Comey she reviewed his congressional testimony and the parts of his new book where he recalled the times where Trump made inappropriate statements in his presence — including asking for the FBI director’s loyalty and urging him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn. Since, Comey has said that these moments made him “deeply uncomfortable” at the time, and Guthrie wanted to know why he wasn’t more vocal in raising his objections.
“Why in all of those situations did James Comey of all people not stand up to the president?” Guthrie asked. “Why wouldn’t you stand up to President Trump?”
“I guess the question is what does ‘standing up’ mean in that context,” Comey replied. “I stared at him, didn’t blink, didn’t make a sound.”
“You could say, ‘that’s inappropriate, are you asking me to let go of an ongoing criminal investigation?'” Guthrie said.
“Maybe, that’s a fair question” Comey conceded, but noted that Trump knew the question was inappropriate because he asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence to leave the room before asking it.
Comey said he isn’t sure whether he should’ve acted differently back then, but “in the moment, the thing to do was just make sure you’re not agreeing to do something inappropriate.”
Guthrie continued to press Comey on whether there is a case against Trump for obstruction of justice, given the circumstances surrounding his firing.
“You might.” Comey said. “My judgment is it could be obstruction of justice.”
Watch above, via NBC.
[Image via screengrab]
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