James Comey says he pities Trump: 'I don't dislike him -- I actually feel sorry for him as a person'

BBCJames Comey on ‘BBC Newsnight.’
  • James Comey delivered a personal assessment of President Donald Trump’s character in an interview with “BBC Newsnight.”
  • He said the president had a “corrosive” and “staining” effect on those around him.
  • Comey concluded: “I don’t dislike him – I actually feel sorry for him as a person.”
  • It was the latest of many digs the US president and the FBI director he fired have launched at each other.

James Comey says he doesn’t dislike President Donald Trump but pities him instead.

“I don’t dislike him – I actually feel sorry for him as a person,” Comey said of his ex-boss in an interview with the BBC that aired Thursday:

Comey went on to say Trump had a “corrosive” and “staining” effect on his employees and the US as a whole.

He told the flagship “Newsnight” program:

“I think the way in which he acts, especially his corrosive effect on norms – truth-telling being the most important of them – has that staining effect on institutions and people who are close to them.

“He has a habit of – and even who support him would agree with this, I think – of telling lies, sometimes big, sometimes casual, and insisting that the people around him repeat them and believe him.

“And that stains any human.”

Comey’s jab at Trump on “Newsnight” is the latest of many blows the two have exchanged since Trump fired Comey last May.

Immediately after Comey’s dismissal, Trump called Comey a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”

Last week, following the publishing of details from Comey’s memoir, the president called the former FBI director a “slimeball,” “slippery,” and “a man who always ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!).”

In an interview that aired Sunday, Comey compared Trump to a mob boss and called him “morally unfit” for the presidency.

The BBC interview came as news organisations obtained 15 pages of memos Comey kept while FBI director, describing private conversations with Trump and interactions Comey found questionable.

Read Business Insider’s coverage of Comey’s memos here:

Watch the entire ‘BBC Newsnight’ interview here.

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