President Donald Trump says that former FBI Director James Comey should never have exonerated ‘guilty as hell’ Hillary Clinton over her private email use.
In an interview with NBC Nightly News on Friday, Trump said he blamed incompetent Comey for allowing Hillary to get away with her crimes.
“No, what happened, he had a lot of pressure put on — and he exonerated her,” Trump told Lester Holt. “[He] should have never exonerated her.”
“When he came out with the scathing set of circumstances––the server, the illegal server, the e-mails, 33,000 e-mails that you get subpoenaed and then you don’t show and you erase those, you delete them, you get rid of them, you acid wash them.”
“When he did all of that stuff, it was disgraceful when he’s covering everything point after point. I was with lawyers watching that… I happen to have lawyers, unrelated lawyers and they would say wow, she’s guilty here, guilty. Guilty. Guilty.”
“Then he gets to the end and he says she’s free as a bird.”
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) May 12, 2017
Politico.com reports: Comey announced in July of last year that while Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” he ultimately recommended to the Justice Department that “no charges are appropriate.”
While Trump called some of Comey’s actions during the Clinton probe “disgraceful,” he also admitted that the director’s widely followed investigation into Clinton may have benefited his unlikely run into the White House.
“I will tell you that what he did, what Comey did, had good moments for me as a candidate,” he said. “I’m only talking as a candidate, I’m not saying as president, where I want to do what’s right for the country necessarily.”
Trump added: “I’m talking purely as a candidate for me to get votes.”
Earlier this month Clinton partially attributed her November defeat to Comey’s decision to notify Congress less than two weeks from the general election that the FBI was looking into new emails in their investigation.
“I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off,” she said at a charity luncheon on May 2.