arabsvoice – Former FBI Director James Comey’s highly anticipated weekend TV interview fell flat for key members of the press.
The one-hour interview, which aired Sunday on ABC ahead of the publication of Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty,” received extensive coverage in the national press for Comey’s sharp rebukes of President Trump, but there were almost no revelations in his answers, and some critics said Comey came across as self-serving.
“I didn’t like that interview,” CNN political analyst David Gregory said Monday morning. “I don’t think Jim Comey came off well at all. I think yet again he is obsessed with his standing, his media standing, his kind of political standing.”
Haberman said Comey’s book “does not appear to contain a ton of news in terms of revelations,” and she described the ABC interview as “much lower grade burn than I thought it would be, certainly, and than I think [Trump’s] advisers thought it would be.”
Washington Post politics blogger Aaron Blake said Comey “presented himself as too imperfect a figure — one overly concerned with appearances, politics and ego…” He added that there were times Comey seemed “vindictive and even petty” and that “if he was looking to prosecute the case against Trump in the court of public opinion, he has chosen a strange way in which to do it.”
“Maybe it’s just me… the more I hear from Comey, the more conflicted I feel,” CNN political commentator Ana Navarro, a fierce critic of Trump, said Monday on Twitter. “I want to believe him that this is all about loyalty to country and inviolable respect for the truth. But damn, the guy has a big ego, is selectively inconsistent. I find him obnoxiously self-righteous.”
Maybe it's just me…the more I hear from @comey, the more conflicted I feel. I want to believe him that this is all about loyalty to country and inviolable respect for the truth. But damn, the guy has a big ego, is selectively inconsistent. I find him obnoxiously self-righteous.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) April 16, 2018
In the interview, Comey recounted his brief tenure as head of the FBI under Trump, who he said was “morally unfit” to be president. He admitted he didn’t know whether Russians had compromising information on Trump, an allegation that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating. He also defended his actions during the 2016 campaign, when he publicly criticized Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her private email server, yet declined to recommend prosecuting her for any crimes.
Early in the program, he remarked on Trump’s skin color, the length of his tie (“too long”) and recalled thinking Trump was shorter than he expected upon first meeting him.
Richard Haas, a frequent guest on MSNBC and president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the interview likely didn’t move the needle in Comey’s favor.
“He did nothing to persuade us that his various interventions in the run up to the election were justified,” he said. “This seems to be a guy who was talking to himself, was intellectually unmoored. Almost without a compass.”
Trump himself sent out a series of tweets over the weekend attacking Comey ahead of the program.