Fired FBI director James Comey breaks silence in first TV interview

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Comey is doing a series of media interviews before the release of his book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership", which news organizations have said paints a deeply unflattering picture of the president.

Comey offered a blunt assessment of a conversation with Trump on February 14, 2017, during which Comey maintains the president said of an investigation the FBI was conducting into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, "I hope you can let it go".

Excerpts have already been widely reported, prompting President Donald Trump and his conservative allies to launch a furious attack on Comey.

Comey, fired by Trump in May previous year, was anxious the president may be open to blackmail by Russian Federation given claims he was present when prostitutes urinated on each other during a 2013 Moscow visit. Just another of his many lies.

The exclusive "20/20" interview provided little new information, instead providing a tremendous amount of context around the months leading up to the 2016 general election and the relationship between the president and a federal department tasked with probing into the more salacious accusations of his administration. "What she did was really sloppy", Comey said. Rosenstein harshly criticized Comey's management of the investigation and his decision to publicly announce that the Clinton investigation had been closed in July 2016.

In the interview, Comey said he was unsure whether or not the Russians have compromising material that could be used to blackmail Trump - either relating to his pre-election personal conduct, or his campaign's actions.

She says she rose above politics throughout the email investigation, and never discussed it with anyone from the Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee.

Having announced an end to the inquiry in July 2016, Mr. Comey revealed on October 28, just days before the election, that the F.B.I. was again investigating the case.

"Values matter. This president does not reflect the values of this country", he said of Donald Trump.

Comey, for his part, isn't convinced it's real, but he did admit to ABC's George Stephanopoulos that it's possible such a tape exists.

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The thought of having dinner alone with Trump at the White House made Comey "deeply uncomfortable", he wrote, because he feared that the president wanted to compromise the FBI's integrity and independence and was waging "an effort to establish a patronage relationship" with him.

Comey cited two examples from the first hours of the Trump presidency, one in which Trump lied about whether or not former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was aware of a meeting, the other being Trump's preposterous insistence that his inauguration crowd was larger than President Barack Obama's.

On May 16, The New York Times published an article about a memo Comey reportedly wrote that detailed a February 14 meeting between Comey and Trump.

Trump on Sunday rejected Comey's assertion that the president had sought his loyalty at a January 2017 dinner, saying "I hardly even knew this guy".

Reuters and other news outlets have obtained copies of Comey's book before its formal release.

The allegation in Trump's tweets about Comey leaking classified information appears to be a reference to Comey passing along to a friend a memo about his interactions after Trump fired him.

The book details his decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails days before the election.

That's the day Comey's book, "A Higher Loyalty", officially comes out. The firing ultimately led to the appointment of Robert Mueller to direct a special counsel inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. But he said Trump's moral qualifications were lacking.

'People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values'.