Trump alleges ex-FBI chief Comey committed 'many crimes'

Comey is promoting a new book - and incurring Trump's wrath as he does.

"His leadership is transactional, ego-driven and about personal loyalty", wrote Comey, according to the New York Times, continuing the unprecedented assault on a sitting US President by a high government official.

Asked whether he believed Trump ought to be impeached, Comey replied, "I hope not because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people of the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they're duty bound to do directly".

In the five-hour interview with anchor George Stephanopoulos - it has been transcribed online, if you're truly keen - Comey took aim at the president and responded to criticism of his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

His written record of several troubling encounters with Trump while FBI director -including the president's requests for loyalty and for the FBI to drop its investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn - are at the heart of Mueller's investigation into whether Trump sought to obstruct the continuing examination of Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Trump on Monday again alleged that while Federal Bureau of Investigation director Comey prematurely decided he would not recommend his Justice Department bosses prosecute Clinton over her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. "And I'm highly confident that he would refuse to abide that order", Comey said of Rosenstein.

The president insisted Comey is a "leaker and a liar" and called for him to be prosecuted for leaking "classified" information.

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Comey also says he found out he was sacked from television reports.

Comey says Trump brought up the subject unprompted during a White House dinner on January 27, 2017, saying, "If there's even a 1 percent chance my wife thinks that's true, that's awful". It was recorded last Monday at Comey's home in suburban Washington. "I think he felt a pressure in the political environment because he wanted Hillary Clinton to be elected, to give her a shot in the arm". Everybody's got opinions. I may agree with Comey that Trump is morally unfit to be president, but that doesn't mean it's particularly important that he thinks so.

Comey also spoke in the interview about having to confront Trump about allegations against him.

"Usually you don't have anybody in the FBI talking about ongoing investigations", Anderson said, adding that "if Jim says something in one interview, then says something in his book thats different, then gives a different version of it in another interview, and they use him as a witness which I'm sure they will, then that could become a problem" for the Russian Federation investigation. In addition to receiving a confused call from his wife Patrice, who had heard that he was sacked before hearing it from Comey directly, and then getting a call from a different friend, Comey says he also got a call from then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, who now serves as Trump's chief of staff.

If Mr Trump's presidency is brought down by the Special Counsel investigation that Mr Comey's ouster triggered, that assessment will be hard to argue with. He also defends him in private.

"I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don't know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013".

Stephanopoulos pushed him on the question, saying "That's stunning".

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