Comey Seems to Change Tune That Russia Has Compromising Info on Trump: ‘Unlikely But Possible’


FBI Director James Comey appeared on CNN’s The Lead this afternoon for what turned out to be his toughest interview yet. Anchor Jake Tapper pressed the ex-FBI chief on a number of topics and subjects, one of which was the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling.

During his interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Comey said that he thought “it was possible” that the Kremlin had compromising information on Donald Trump, directly referencing the allegations made in the Steele dossier (i.e the pee tape). Tapper pressed Comey on this while framing it in the way that Comey handled Hillary Clinton.

“But you’re not using the same construct of there is evidence or there isn’t evidence,” Tapper noted. “You’re saying it’s possible that leaves the impression for people that there might be stuff out there that there might be evidence that President Trump is under the thumb of Kremlin.”

“Yeah, but I see that, Jake, as asking me two different things,” Comey responded. “I won’t talk about the investigation of possible cooperation between Americans and the Russian effort to influence our election. What you asked me about now, why did I say what I said whether I thought it was possible that the Russians had derogatory information on President Trump. I think it’s unlikely but possible.”

Tapper pushed back, stating that construct seemed “unfair,” pointing out that it is also possible to say it is untrue and perhaps that should have been the way to answer that question.

“There’s a reason I say it’s possible,” the former FBI head said. “Two things struck me. One the president’s constantly bringing it up to me to deny it and in my experience, it is not an ironclad rule but a striking thing when someone brings up something to deny you didn’t ask about. Second, I’m always struck he wouldn’t criticize Vladimir Putin even in private. Which struck me as odd.”

The CNN host replied that it was “kind of cute” for him to respond in that manner.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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