James Comey explains why he feels sorry for Trump

James Comey explains why he feels sorry for Trump

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During a discussion with New Yorker editor David Remnick, former FBI director James Comey was asked why he doesn’t hate Donald Trump, even after getting fired and relentlessly lambasted by the president. Comey’s answer drew gasps in the audience for the wide-ranging discussion at the Town Hall venue in New York City on Thursday night:

“I think he has an emptiness inside of him and a hunger for affirmation that I’ve never seen in an adult.”

Comey also had a nuanced, if evasive, answer when Remnick asked him for his opinion of Rudy Giuliani, the former NYC mayor and federal prosecutor who joined Trump’s legal team on Thursday. Comey was very critical of Giuliani in his new book, A Higher Loyalty, calling him for a “dangerous” management style and an excessive craving for publicity. But on Thursday night, Comey just said abut Giuliani: “Maybe he’ll be successful where others weren’t and maybe he’ll precipitate a clash. I just don’t know.”

Remnick asked Comey to explain why he compares Trump to a mob boss in his book, describing at length Comey’s own experience prosecuting mafioso like Sammy “The Bull” Gravano. Since there were many accounts of Trump associating with mobsters like “Fat Tony” Salerno (whose trial inspired Comey to become a federal prosecutor) during the 1980s, why didn’t Comey ever investigate Trump back then? Comey’s reply was the epitome of bureaucratic banality: “We don’t open investigations because we think people must have done something wrong. For the FBI, there has to be a factual predicate.”

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