Trump unloads on Comey ahead of ex-FBI director's interview

James Comey

James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey in his first exclusive interview since he was sacked last May said that Donald Trump was "morally unfit" to be the President of the US.

Comey, whom Trump sacked as FBI director, promting a Justice department investigation into him, described several conversations he had with Trump, during which the president asked for his loyalty - a claim Trump has denied.

"I think he's morally unfit to be president".

President Trump fired back at James Comey on Monday after the fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director slammed Trump on national television, comparing him to a mob boss who is "morally unfit to be president".

Comey, in his own telling, says he likely treated Clinton more harshly because the polls showed that she was likely to win the presidential election.

He later added that a Trump impeachment would let the American people "off the hook," stressing that he believes the president doesn't represent American values.

He said it was shortly after the inauguration when Comey was called into the Oval Office, which is where he says the president asked him to close the investigation into Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's ties to Russian Federation.

In the interview, Comey said he was unsure whether or not the Russians have compromising material that could be used to blackmail Trump - either relating to his pre-election personal conduct, or his campaign's actions.

James Comey appeared on 20/20 two days before the release of his highly anticipated book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.

Trump fired Comey previous year amid the FBI's investigation into Russian election interference.

He continued: "It always struck me and still strikes me as unlikely, and I woulda' been able to say with high confidence about any other president I dealt with, but I can't".

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, setting off a scramble at the Justice Department that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.

Comey told ABC News that he knew the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server was going to present a "no-win situation" for him.

The interview with Comey and the publicity tour for his book, which is scheduled to hit bookstores on Tuesday, amount to a remarkable public assault on a sitting President by someone who served at the highest levels in the government. Comey responded, "Possibly. It's certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice".

It was his first interview since he was sacked by Trump nearly a year ago as he promotes his new book. Comey said an unverified dossier assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele dossier had no impact on triggering the investigation.

Despite his criticism of Trump, Comey admitted that he does not think Trump should be impeached.

The president lashed out at Comey in a series of tweets earlier Sunday, saying that the email probe was handled "stupidly" and calling Comey a "slime ball".

On Sunday, before the ABC interview aired, Comey tweeted that his book draws on stories from his life and from lessons he has learned from others.

When asked if he thought Trump now had Mueller in his crosshairs, Comey warned his firing should be seen as the president's "most serious attack yet on the rule of law".

Trump has said he fired Comey because of his handling of the FBI's investigation into Clinton's email practices. It would depend, and I'm just a witness in this case, not the investigator or prosecutor.

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