The former FBI director James Comey attempted to position himself above party politics in his first public interview since President Trump fired him last year, and the anger Comey has engendered from Democrats and Republicans may indicate he succeeded.
"It helps his credibility in some sense that he's not positioning himself directly in alliance with one party or the other," said Jack Crowe, a reporter at the National Review. "No one in Washington is particularly happy with him."
In the ABC interview, Comey said Trump was "morally unfit to be president," angering Republicans perhaps as much as he upset Democrats when he told Congress 11 days before the 2016 presidential election that he was reopening part of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. Clinton said in her 2017 book, "What Happened," that Comey's decision likely cost her the election.
Since Comey was fired in May 2017, he has emerged as a polarizing figure in Washington. His termination led to the appointment of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to investigate whether the Trump campaign worked with agents of the Russian government. The investigation has ensnared individuals close to Trump, including his personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.
During the ABC interview to promote his new memoir, Comey told Stephanopoulos that "it's possible" the Russian government has compromising information on Trump.
"It is stunning and I wish I wasn't saying it, but it's just-- it's the truth," Comey said.
Speaking on Cheddar's live broadcast on Monday, Crowe said that Comey's criticism of Trump didn't clearly "align himself with the democrats," but speculating that the Russian's may have dirt on the president "hurts Comey's credibility a bit."
Comey is scheduled to conduct a number of media interviews this week to promote his book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership," to be published Tuesday by Flatiron Books.
For the full interview, click here.