Transcript of James Comey's first interview since President Trump fired him

Trump attacks ex-FBI director Comey in early morning tweetstorm

The FBI director, who until his firing last May led an investigation into possible ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, acknowledged that it was "stunning" to think that Russian Federation could have damaging information about an American president.

Former FBI Director James Comey says he thinks Donald Trump is morally unfit to be president.

Comey, in his own telling, says he likely treated Clinton more harshly because the polls showed that she was likely to win the presidential election. "This president is not able to do that", he added. President Trump tweeted - I don't follow him on Twitter, but I get to see his tweets - tweeted I don't know how many but some tweets this past couple days about me.

Comey said he does not know "what's behind" Trump's reluctance to criticise Russian President Vladimir Putin in public.

Mr Comey, whose book A Higher Loyalty has already become a bestseller ahead of its release this week, also said he compares Donald Trump to a "forest fire" that will cause "tremendous damage".

The tweet comes after ABC News aired its pre-taped interview with Comey, who Trump had sacked, which triggered appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to take over the Russian Federation probe.

The firing ultimately led to the appointment of Robert Mueller to direct a special counsel inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

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Comey writes that his experiences with Trump gave him "flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the mob".

Comey faced criticism for his handling of the investigation into Clinton's email practices while she served as secretary of state under former President Barack Obama, including announcing just before the election that the probe had been reopened.Clinton said that decision helped cost her the election. Trump also called Comey a "slimeball".

"Possibly. I mean, it's certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice", he said.

But Trump said in a tweet before the interview aired that he never asked for personal loyalty. And he's using it to speak his piece about the president who fired him.

On Friday morning, a day after details of Comey's memoir, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership", were reported by the media, Trump called the former Federal Bureau of Investigation boss "a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a awful Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation". He told ABC that he maybe should have said something to Trump at the time to indicate the request was inappropriate. Trump's legal fate may depend on whether he succeeds in undermining the credibility of Comey and the law enforcement institutions he views as arrayed against him. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Comey drafted a statement that exonerated Clinton before the FBI had completed the investigation.

He re-opened the case after some of her emails were discovered on the server of her closest aide's husband, who was being prosecuted in a sexting case.

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