James Comey responds to critics like President Trump in live interview
(NEW YORK) -- President Donald Trump's calls for James Comey to be jailed are "not normal," the former FBI director said in a live appearance on "Good Morning America" today.
"That is not normal," Comey said. "That is not OK. First of all, he's just making stuff up. But, most importantly, the president of the United States is calling for the imprisonment of a private citizen, as he's done for a whole lot of people who criticize him. That is not acceptable in this country."
Comey pointed to the tweets as examples of how he says Trump misunderstands or disrespects the rule of law.
"I hope people read the book and see why the rule of law is such an important value in this country, and key to that is that the president doesn't get to decide who goes to jail," Comey said of his new book, "A Higher Loyalty,” which was released today.
Trump's tweets and accusations have numbed the U.S. public, Comey said, expressing hope that his book will serve as a wake-up call.
“We’re numb to it,” he said. “We wake up in the morning and see the president of the United States is accusing people of crimes without evidence and pronouncing them guilty and saying they should be in jail. That should wake all of us up with a start, but there's been so much of it that we're a little bit numb and that's dangerous.”
The tweets in question came April 15, hours before the airing of Comey's first interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
"The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?" Trump wrote.
A day later, Trump accused Comey of "[commiting] many crimes."
"Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!" he tweeted Monday.
This morning's appearance on "Good Morning America" was the former FBI director's first live interview at the launch of his book tour, having already given taped interviews including his first with ABC News, which aired on Sunday.
Comey also responded to the belief by some that he took cheap shots at the president in his book -- which were repeated in the ABC News special Sunday -- in commenting on the color of the president's skin, the size of his hands and the length of his tie.
"I'm not trying to make fun of President Trump. I'm not trying to make fun of anybody," he said, defending such descriptors as instances where he was trying to describe the scene for the reader.
"I'm trying to be an author,” he said, “and bring the reader into the room.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.