“Admitting that he let political optics creep into his head was one of his more damning acknowledgments in the interview.”
Former FBI Director James Comey managed to do the impossible. He forged common ground between President Trump and members of failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s world.
Hillary’s associates have spoken out against Comey after reading parts of his book and watching his interviews. They’ve said he’s no hero and feel disgusted that he admitted he allowed politics to drive his decisions.
During Comey’s interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopolous, he admitted that politics played a part in his decision to announce the FBI reopened the investigation into Hillary’s email server about a week before the election.
Comey told Stephanopoulos that the polls showed Hillary would win the election and he wanted to make the announcement because if he didn’t, “the public would later discover he had not revealed the new emails discovered on Anthony Weiner’s computer and it would hurt Clinton’s standing, as well as the FBI and the Department of Justice.” This would make her “an illegitimate president” according to him.
That did not sit well with those close to Hillary. From VICE:
“It was not his job to worry about a future President Clinton’s legitimacy. That is a purely political consideration that should never have come into play,” Clinton campaign Press Secretary Brian Fallon told VICE News. “His job was to go by the book and adhere by the Department guidelines and then let the political chips fall where they may.”
“Admitting that he let political optics creep into his head was one of his more damning acknowledgments in the interview,” he said. “I am not sure he even realizes how bad he sounds admitting that.”
Hillary and her minions still blame Comey’s letter for her loss. Comey rightfully reminded Hillary’s campaign that it wasn’t him who put emails on Weiner’s computer.
But still, Hillary’s camp thinks Comey is only looking out for himself:
“Many people believe Comey is a straight-shooter. but nothing in his interview explains or justifies his repeated violations of standard procedure,” Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist, told VICE News. “The man talks about the rule of law repeatedly in the interview, so his answer here is a complete crock.”
Some Clinton allies just wish Comey would admit he made a bad call.
“That Hillary’s standing in the polls had any sway or influence over his decision to reopen the investigation into her emails less than two weeks before Election Day (and well after early voting was underway) remains — to say the least — troubling,” Adrienne Elrod, the director of strategic communications for the Clinton campaign, told VICE News. “I wish he had admitted he was wrong in that he allowed this to be an influencing factor,” she added.
Asked what he wishes Comey would say, Benenson echoed Elrod: “I was wrong.”
Hillary’s spokesman Nick Merrill finds it gross that Comey is profiting off of these probes and bashed him for making a “public spectacle of the conclusion of the email investigation.” From Politico:
“He made a public spectacle of the conclusion of the email investigation, breaking with Department norms, calling into question the integrity of the process,” Merrill wrote. “It did nothing to quiet the Trump campaign from accusing the FBI of bias & did everything to make Americans feel uneasy.”
Asked about the decision during his interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, which aired Sunday night, Comey acknowledged he likely considered whether withholding information about the Clinton email probe would affect her if she were elected.
“I don’t remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been,” Comey said. “I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump. I’m sure that it was a factor.”
Merrill cried foul on Monday for what he presented as a double standard for Comey and Clinton, who has been vocal in the past about her displeasure with Comey.
“Profiting indeed. 850,000 copies of his book have been printed and will likely sell, with scores of paid speeches on leadership that will accompany that,” Merrill tweeted. “But yes, Hillary Clinton is the one that should go away.”
Hillary’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri and campaign chief John Podesta also lashed out at Comey:
“What amazes me … is that he decided to send the letter to the Hill because of a political consideration, and that political consideration was he put it upon himself to be worried about whether or not the next president of the United States was going to be considered legitimate,” Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director in 2016, told CNN on Sunday.
Palmieri said Comey acted “very clearly outside of the bounds of how the FBI is supposed to operate,” despite saying he was “always trying to act within the bounds of how the FBI is supposed to operate.”
John Podesta, Clinton’s former campaign chairman, called Comey’s letter to lawmakers “one of the worst errors of judgment in post-Hoover FBI history.” Podesta spoke Friday after excerpts of Comey’s book became public.
The Hill quoted a few others from Hillary’s camp:
“Of course they’re upset,” said Patti Solis Doyle, who served as Clinton’s campaign manager during her 2008 presidential bid. “How could you not be if you worked on that campaign?”
“I think he displayed unreliably poor judgment in the Clinton investigation by bucking [Department of Justice] procedures and having a press conference when there were no charges brought, and I think he has displayed incredibly poor judgment in the timing of this book before the end of the [Robert] Mueller investigation,” she added.
“Nobody is satisfied with anything he’s been saying,” said one longtime Clinton adviser. “We thought that Comey was always a factor in her loss, but now nobody can deny that perceptions were changed because of it.”
“I’ve made peace with it, but it’s still a punch in the gut,” the adviser said.
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