East Tennessee experts analyze Comey’s remarks on President Trump

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Former FBI Director Jim Comey broke his silence about a range of issues, one year after his firing by President Donald Trump.

“There’s really not a lot of new, big, or terrible stuff that came out of this,” George Korda, WATE 6 On Your Side political analyst, said. “Generally, it reinforced things people already knew or already suspected or that Comey already said.”

In his first interview in months, Comey called President Trump a “liar” and “morally unfit” to serve in office, blows that Korda said will likely have little effect on the Trump administration moving forward.

“I think the consequence is very short term for the administration and that is President Trump on Twitter doing what even makes his supporters nervous, which is blasting people on social media, like he’s doing to Comey, and that’s not the way the president wins over the middle of the country,” Korda said.

Analysts said Comey’s public attacks are highly unusual and even out of character.

“He’s known to be an extremely discrete, professional and non-partisan type of person who spoke on no uncertain terms about how he felt the president was unfit to serve and the fact that he said it so candidly was a bit sobering,” LMU Law Professor Akram Faizer said. 

In the interview, Comey even linked the president’s alleged demand of loyalty to behavior of a mob boss and said President Trump could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. 

Faizer said Comey’s negative comments toward the president will likely embolden Trump’s critics but change few minds among Trump’s support base. 

“There is nothing in this interview that alters the current political environment,” Faizer said. “I think the president’s supporters see him as a man who’s doing his best to try to advance the country’s interests and his opponents see him as morally unfit for office. I think this interview will further motivate the president’s opponents, but I don’t think it will alter the view of the president’s supporters.”

Some even interpret Comey’s remarks as self-promotional and a move to get even with the president.

“In the interview, Comey always put himself in the most positive, favorable light, even on his most questionable decisions and he always interpreted Trump’s actions in the most negative, possible light, because he’s mad at the guy who fired him and he has a national stage to make his case,” Korda said. 

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