James Comey tells ABC's George Stephanopoulos that Donald Trump is "morally unfit to be president" and that he "does not reflect the values of this country."
"I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president," Comey told Stephanopoulos when asked if he believes if Trump is unfit to be president.
"Where are we as a country?" Comey asked. "So I worry sometimes people think I'm talking about politics. Not in the way we normally talk about in this country. But I hope in the most important way. Values matter. This president does not reflect the values of this country."
Transcript, via ABC News:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You write that President Trump is unethical, untethered to the truth. Is Donald Trump unfit to be president?
JAMES COMEY: Yes. But not in the way m-- I often hear people talk about it. I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on. I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president.
A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person's not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds. And that's not a policy statement. Again, I don't care what your views are on guns or immigration or taxes.
There's something more important than that that should unite all of us, and that is our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You're the former director of the F.B.I. You've served in senior positions in the Department of Justice for Republican and Democratic presidents. And you think Donald Trump is unfit-- s-- the bottom line standard, unfit to be president?
JAMES COMEY: I do. I do. And I-- I-- I hope one of the things that comes outta the Trump administration his first term is a recognition that, as much as we fight about those policy issues in this country, what's at the core of this nation, we are just a collection of ideas. And at the core of those ideas is that there is a thing called truth.
There is the rule of law. There is integrity. Those things matter before any fights about policies. And people who tell themselves, "Well, yes, Donald Trump is unethical but I'm getting the right Supreme Court justice or the right regulatory rollback," are kidding themselves because if we lose that tether to the truth, if that stops being the norm at the heart of our public life, what are we?
Where are we as a country? So I worry sometimes people think I'm talking about politics. Not in the way we normally talk about in this country. But I hope in the most important way. Values matter. This president does not reflect the values of this country.