President Trump was upset that Fox News was planning on interviewing former FBI Director James Comey. As it turned out, the interview by Sunday host Chris Wallace was so damaging to Comey’s reputation and credibility, it was a gift to the President delivered from two unlikely sources. Comey has been opposed to the President since he was elected (and especially after the President fired him) while Wallace has been a conspicuous Trump critic on the network, so much so that many conservatives have called for his firing.
The interview was a huge loss for Comey, who has been going around to various shows claiming to have been “vindicated” by Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report. Wallace starts the interview by playing a clip of Horowitz stating before the Senate that his report did not vindicate Comey, the FBI, or anyone involved. What followed was an interview in which Wallace went on the attack and Comey played everything down. What Horowitz described as either gross negligence or willful misleading of the FISA court, Comey portrayed as “sloppy.” But Wallace continued to call him out for it.
Wallace grilled Comey for numerous prior claims that he made to the media which turned out to be false, including that the report vindicated him, that the FISA process was followed, that the entire case was handled in a responsible manner, and his suggestion that the anti-Trump dossier was a small part of what was used to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“You make it sound like you’re a bystander, an eyewitness,” Wallace pressed. “You were the director of the FBI while a lot of this was going on, sir.”
Perhaps the most shocking part about the interview was when Comey said that he would not resign as FBI Director over the IG report because there was worse misconduct happening under his leadership:
“No. I don’t think so,” Comey responded. “There are mistakes I consider more consequential than this during my tenure.”
Wallace continued by skewering Comey over the way the FBI concealed exculpatory evidence showing that Page was a CIA asset, which was hidden from the court during the FISA application process.
Whether Comey has been playing for a future political run or simply increasing his visibility for other ventures, he has now become essentially irrelevant. This interview should seal up any hopes he has of using the media to raise his reputation.
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