Former FBI director James Comey got so freaked out by the fact he never saw Trump laugh he trawled YouTube looking for clips

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesDonald Trump appears on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ at the NBC Studios on April 7, 2004 in Burbank, California.
  • Former FBI director James Comey never saw Donald Trump laugh.
  • In his upcoming memoir, Comey says he was so unsettled he even searched YouTube for clips of the US president laughing.
  • “I suspect his apparent inability to [laugh] so is rooted in deep insecurity, his inability to be vulnerable or to risk himself by appreciating the humour of others,” Comey wrote.

James Comey has called Donald Trump “unethical” and “morally unfit to be president.”

But the former FBI director also has a stranger criticism of the US president: He never seems to laugh.

In his upcoming memoir “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” Comey details his interactions with Trump before he was fired. And in one particular instance – a private dinner at the White House – Comey uses it as an opportunity to discuss how he never once saw Trump laugh.

“I don’t recall seeing him laugh, ever,” he wrote. Not during small talk before meetings. Not in a conversation. Not even here, during an ostensibly relaxed dinner.”

Comey was so confused by this he even went on YouTube months later, to try and track down video evidence of Trump chuckling – and could only find one.

“I suspect his apparent inability to do so is roouted in deep insecurity, his inability to be vulnerable or to risk himself by appreciating the humour of others, which, on reflection, is really very sad in a leader, and a little scary in a president,” he wrote.

This is the clip Comey was referring to – a campaign rally where a crowd member joked that a dog-like sound was Hillary Clinton, to Trump’s amusement.

There are a few other examples out there of Trump appearing to laugh – like this one, at a campaign rally in Ohio.

He also let out an apparent chuckle when President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines called journalists “spies” – but these instances seem to be few and far between.

Indeed, Comey is far from the first person to notice that Trump rarely laughs.

A New York Times column published in October 2017, “Is Nothing Funny, Mr. President?” discussed this, warning: “For the first time in recent memory, we have a commander in chief without a sense of humour – and America is paying the price.” The Nation, too, puzzled over the issue, asking readers:“Have You Ever Seen Donald Trump Laugh?”

Here’s a partial extract from Comey’s book:

“Something else occurred to me about President Trump at that dinner that I found very instructive. I don’t recall seeing him laugh, ever. Not during small talk before meetings. Not in a conversation. Not even here, during an ostensibly relaxed dinner. Months later, the thought of a man whom I had never seen laugh stayed with me. I wondered if maybe others had noticed it or if in thousands of hours of video coverage, he had even laughed. he had spent literally decades in front of video cameras, between his highly choreographed career as a business mogul and his years as a reality television star. … I suspect his apparent inability to do so is roouted in deep insecurity, his inability to be vulnerable or to risk himself by appreciating the humour of others, which, on reflection, is really very sad in a leader, and a little scary in a president.”

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