Former FBI Director James Comey on Monday condemned President Donald Trump for his ongoing attacks on the FBI, as well as Republican lawmakers who continue to shield the president amid his inflammatory rhetoric against law enforcement.
“So, another day of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Steele dossier,” Comey told reporters as he emerged from a closed-door hearing on Capitol Hill. “This while the president of the United States is lying about the FBI, attacking the FBI, and attacking the rule of law in this country. How does that make any sense at all?”
He continued, “Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today? At some point, someone has to stand up in the face of fear of Fox News, fear of their base, fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country, and not slink away into retirement.”
Comey, who had just finished testimony as part of a Republican-led investigation into the FBI’s actions during the 2016 election, also slammed Trump for his recent tweets branding Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney, a “rat” for cooperating with federal investigators.
“This is the president of the United States calling a witness, who has cooperated with his own Justice Department, a ‘rat,'” Comey said. “Say that again to yourself at home and remind yourself where we have ended up.”
“Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you have to stand on your feet, overcome your shame, and say something,” he continued.
Comey appeared before lawmakers earlier this month for a nearly seven-hour hearing that left Republicans frustrated by the former FBI director’s refusal to answer certain questions regarding the Russia investigation. Trump later seized on the transcript of the hearing to baselessly accuse Comey of lying to lawmakers.