Former FBI Director James Comey joined Nicole Wallace on MSNBC Monday afternoon to discuss his exoneration by the Department of Justice's inspector general's report on the origins of the Trump/Russia probe:
NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC: Joining us now for his first interview since the report was released former FBI Director Jim Comey. You've got an op-ed out, I want to dive into that. You were the target of a lot of those smears. But your first thoughts about what the reports concludes, that on the big question, on the big smear levied by Donald Trump about some sort of conspiracy or political bias, there was nothing.
JAMES COMEY: It was all made up. Two years of sitting silently at the FBI while you are lied about and finally the truth is out. It was lies. There was no treason. There was no conspiracy. There was no tapping of Trump's wires. There was no putting informants in the campaign. It was all nonsense. And the FBI finally has its day with the American and I hope they pay attention tome it.
NICOLE WALLACE: But has the damage been done? Has enough been said about the FBI, at least to the people who support Donald Trump that today's nonpartisan years-long investigation won't matter to the people that may have believed those attacks?
JAMES COMEY: A lot of the damage can't be undone because good people believe something that a President of the United States says or an attorney general or a news personality says. And so they've bought that and it's going to be hard to walk that back. My goal is to have as many of the American people as possible learn from this and learn that the FBI is the way you'd want it to be. It's not on anybody's side.
NICOLE WALLACE: And you tried to get that message out to the FOX News viewer. Tell us what f happened.
JAMES COMEY: I offered to go on "Fox and Friends," which I gather is a very important program for supporters of the president. And they agreed last night to book me at 8:00 tomorrow. I figured I can't change the minds of FOX viewers about President Trump, but i can change their minds, I hope, about the FBI, but I can give them actual facts. And after the report came out they canceled my appearance. They must've read the report.
NICOLE WALLACE: What did they say? Just we are full?
JAMES COMEY: Maybe we can do it again after the Durham investigation was their answer.
NICOLE WALLACE: I want to play some of the things that Donald Trump said about you and other senior leaders of the FBI that were debunked by the I.G. report today. Let's watch it.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: How did this start? How did it start? You had dirty cops. You had people that are bad FBI folks... I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation... It was an illegal investigation. It was started illegally and they got caught. What they did was treason... And if you look at what's happened with the scum that's leaving the very top of government, people that others used to say, oh, that's -- these were dirty cops.
NICOLE WALLACE: It's not what the I.G. Found. This is the first paragraph of "The Washington Post" story: " long-awaited justice department inspector general's report examining the FBI investigation into possible coordination between President Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia rebuts some of conservatives' most including the top FBI officials motivated by political bias and illegally spied on trump advisers." I was watching you watch that. Is it hard to watch?
JAMES COMEY: There is a risk though that even I become numb to it. There's been so much lying, so many efforts to burn the FBI down that you become a little numb to it. We can't be because that institution matters no matter what your politics. It matters to the American people and it's made up of good people trying to protect the country. Ry we've got to become un-numb and realize we've been lied to for two and a half years.