- Former FBI Director James Comey doubled down on his argument that it’s “unlikely” but “possible” that Russia has compromising information about President Donald Trump.
- Tapper grilled Comey on his use of the word “possible,” suggesting the term might be “unfair” to Trump.
- But Comey insisted his evaluation of the evidence is fair. “There are things that lead my common sense to believe it’s possible,” he said.
Former FBI Director James Comey doubled down on his argument that it’s “unlikely” but “possible” that Russia has compromising information about President Donald Trump during a Thursday afternoon interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Tapper grilled Comey on his use of the word “possible,” arguing that it’s also technically possible that “there’s life on other planets.”
“Isn’t that construct unfair to President Trump, in a way?” Tapper asked.
Comey defended his use of the word, arguing that he has reasons for believing Trump could be compromised by Russia, including that Trump “constantly” brought up and denied salacious allegations made against him in the Steele dossier, and that Trump “wouldn’t criticise Vladimir Putin, even in private.”
“There are things that lead my common sense to believe it’s possible,” Comey said.
Tapper pressed him, noting that he didn’t say it was possible that Hillary Clinton committed crimes related to her use of private email server when the FBI closed its investigation into the then-presidential candidate in July 2016. In that instance, Comey said he had found “no evidence” that Clinton had intentionally committed any wrongdoing.
“Isn’t that kind of cute? You’re not saying you have evidence of it, you’re just saying it’s possible,” Tapper went on. “I mean, do you have evidence that President Trump is compromised by the Russians? Have you seen evidence of it?”
Comey again defended himself.
“No, and I think I’ve said that throughout,” Comey said. “I’m trying to be transparent, I’ve said, ‘Here’s my reasoning, here’s why an honest answer has to be it’s possible.’ Now, I’m not saying it’s likely.”
Comey originally made the statement in an interview with ABC News that aired last Sunday, during which he was asked if he thinks the Russians “have something” on Trump.
“I think it’s possible. I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a President of the United States, but it’s possible,” Comey told ABC. “I [would have] been able to say with high confidence about any other President I dealt with, but I can’t. It’s possible.”
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