Fox News’s Bret Baier interviewed former FBI director James Comey Thursday night and he held back no punches.
Off the bat, Baier asked Comey if it was true that the FBI decided before they had even interviewed her not to pursue charges against Hillary Clinton for sharing classified information on a private, unsecured e-mail server.
Comey vehemently denied this claim, but when Baier pushed the former FBI director on the matter, he said it seemed unlikely well before they interviewed Clinton that it would end in a case that prosecutors at the DOJ would bring forward.
Baier asked Comey if there’s anything Clinton could have said or done in the interview that would’ve gotten the agency to pursue a case against her. Comey said if she had lied. Baier then played a video of Comey testifying before Congress under oath that Clinton had lied to the public about facts pertaining to her e-mails. Comey said these lies were unimportant because they were told to the American people and the press, not to law enforcement.
“The question is, would she lie to us,” Comey said (emphasis added). “What people say in the public forum, in a debate, or in a political campaign is not our business. Our business is ‘Are you going to lie to us?’ And if you are and we can prove it, then we’re going to prosecute you.”
Baier played a clip of President Trump in an interview with “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning accusing Comey of leaking classified information to a friend, and asked him to respond to the president’s claims.
“It’s in my book!” Comey said. “The FBI cleared that book before it could be published. That’s a false statement!”
Last week, the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General said it was opening an investigation into whether Comey leaked classified information when he gave memos outlining conversations between him and President Trump to a friend with instructions to disseminate them to media outlets. The IG has reportedly said that two of the memos contained classified information at the time Comey leaked them last year, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In the second half of the interview, Baier asked Comey why he didn’t push back against Trump after he reportedly told then-FBI director Comey he hoped he would “see [his] way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”
“Is it possible there’s another reason you didn’t push back, and that is because you wanted to keep your job?” Baier asked.
“It’s possible, but it’s not the case,” Comey said. “At least, I don’t remember thinking about that at the time.”
Baier pushed Comey on why he would continue to work for President Trump, a man he has called morally unfit and unworthy of the Oval Office.
“As of tonight, had you not been fired, you would still be working for this guy that you say is like a crime boss, who is morally unfit, who you just don’t agree with on principle and values, you would still have that job tonight?”
“Absolutely,” Comey said. “And my goal would to be protect the FBI and serve the president of the United States.”
“When you say to Republicans ‘Why do you work with this president?’ And sit there and say you would still have this job tonight, isn’t there a disconnect there?” Baier asked.
“No. Because elected officials in Congress have a public platform and are responsible for communicating with the voters in a way the FBI director is not,” Comey replied. “My job would be to protect the independence of the institution. Their job should to be represent the people who elected them.”