“That is not normal,” Comey said, chatting again with ABC News’ chief anchor on Good Morning America – this time live.
“That is not OK. First of all, he’s just making stuff up,” Comey said of the tweets directed at him, calling for him to be jailed. “But, most importantly, the President of the United States is calling for the imprisonment of a private citizen, as he’s done for a whole lot of people who criticize him. That is not acceptable in this country.”
Trump’s tweets demonstrate he’s either stupid about the rule of law, or disrespects it, Comey said, hours before he’s scheduled to appear on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show as he promotes his new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”
“I hope people read the book and see why the rule of law is such an important value in this country, and key to that is that the president doesn’t get to decide who goes to jail,” Comey said of the book, out today.
“We’re numb to it,” Comey said, of Trump’s antics. “We wake up in the morning and see the President of the United States is accusing people of crimes without evidence and pronouncing them guilty and saying they should be in jail. That should wake all of us up with a start, but there’s been so much of it that we’re a little bit numb and that’s dangerous.”
Comey’s first sit down with ABC News had been taped before Trump fired off those tweets about him.
This morning’s GMA interview robbed CNN of the ability to promote Jake Tapper’s Thursday date with Comey as his first live interview. But it also enabled Comey to first address Trump’s tweets on a news program, rather than an irreverent late-night show.
Among Trump tweets: “The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?”
Comey, Trump tweeted, had committed “many crimes.”
POTUS also tweet-ranted, “Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!”
Meanwhile, Trump’s reax to the FBI’s raid on the office, home and hotel room of his personal attorney Michael Cohen – an “attack on our country,” he tweeted – is equally disturbing and dangerous, Comey told Stephanopoulos.
“Yeah, it shows me he either doesn’t know or doesn’t care what the rule of law looks like,” he said. “Nobody broke into anybody’s office. It doesn’t happen. The FBI gets a search warrant from a federal judge and conducts itself professionally, completely and politely by the accounts of the people involved. So it’s a total distortion of the way things work.”
But what’s really grabbing headlines this morning is Comey’s response to those blasting him for taking what they consider a cheap shot at Trump’s appearance in the book. Which, considering that Trump wrote the book on cheap shotting, is pretty rich.
In the book, Comey described POTUS’s orange hue, his carefully groomed hair, his too-long tie, and the size of those hands of which Trump had boasted during the campaign.
“I’m not trying to make fun of President Trump,” he insisted. “I’m trying to be an author,” he said, “and bring the reader into the room.” You could hear his editor in every word.
More of Comey’s second GMA appearance here: