James Comey CNN town hall: Live updates - CNN

James Comey CNN town hall: Live updates - CNN
less than 1 min ago

Why Comey believes arming America's teachers is "just not a workable solution"

James Comey was asked what he thinks can be done to stop mass shootings in America, specifically those that happen in classrooms such as the one in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, earlier this week.

"One of the things we can do much better at is connecting our educators, our law enforcement and our public health, mental health community," he said, adding that he's heard there are "all kinds of impediments to sharing information in a good way so we can identify troubled souls earlier and get them the help they need."

Comey doesn't support arming teachers, citing the amount of training they would need to undergo to be trusted with a firearm in a classroom among children.

"It's just not a workable solution," he said.

1 min ago

Comey describes Barr's testimony to Congress as "misleading"

Former FBI Director James Comey told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he thinks Attorney General William Barr's testimony regarding special counsel Robert Mueller's report before Congress was misleading.

Asked if he thinks Barr committed perjury, Comey said he doesn't know, but it doesn't look like he did.

"He certainly gave misleading testimony," he said.

Comey went on to say that Barr's testimony wasn't candid.

"The Department of Justice has a duty of candor to the courts and to Congress. The testimony was not candid, whether it was perjurious is a much higher bar," he said.

2 min ago

Comey hopes he'll have the chance to tell Hillary Clinton "why we made the decisions we made"

James Comey has never met Hillary Clinton, but the former FBI director hopes he'll get the chance one day to have a conversation and explain why he made the decisions he did in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.

"Look, I feel badly that she feels like she said in her book, I think, that I 'shived' her," Comey said. "I would hope to give her the chance -- I would hope to give her the chance to understand why we made the decisions we made."

He said his actions weren't "about trying to hurt her or hurt Donald Trump or help Donald Trump," and that he hopes he can one day have the conversation he had with his wife -- who badly wanted to see a woman elected president -- with Clinton. 

6 min ago

Comey says Barr acted "less than honorable" by acting like Trump's lawyer

James Comey initially said he would give Attorney General William Barr the benefit of the doubt when it came to the Mueller report, and tonight, praised him for leaving most of the report unredacted.

Comey believes Barr acted "less than honorable," however, in the way he previewed the report with his summary, press conference, and still "continues to talk as if he is the President's lawyer."

"That is not the attorney general's job. It's a political appointment by the president, but you lead an institution that belongs to the American people and not the president," Comey said.

Asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper, "You think he's behaving less than honorably?" Comey replied, "I do."

"He's an accomplished and very smart person who had nothing to lose in taking this job but his reputation, but I really -- it doesn't make me happy to say this, but I think he has lost most of his reputation with the way he has conducted himself," Comey said.

Asked why Barr was doing what he was doing, Comey said he didn't know.

"I can speculate, but I don't know. People are complicated, but it is deeply concerning," he said.

13 min ago

Comey: Mueller should testify before Congress to "explain his thinking"

Former FBI Director James Comey said special counsel Robert Mueller should testify before Congress so he can "explain his thinking."

He then went on to explain what he thought was behind Mueller's decision not to indict President Trump for obstruction of justice.

"I think his judgment was, look, we can't indict him anymore," Comey said. 

"We've got lots of evidence of obstruction of justice. We're compiling it for a future prosecutor. So why engage in a really long battle over forcing him to give us answers. We'll collect this information, preserve it for the future, and not waste the time with that battle. I don't know in hindsight whether that was the right call or not."

Asked if he thought Mueller made a mistake by not speaking out and allowing Attorney General William Barr to define the report, Comey said he thinks it's possible Mueller would have done things differently.

"I don't know whether it's a mistake by Bob Mueller, because I don't know whether he anticipated the way in which the attorney general would act and the things he would say."

"In hindsight, maybe Bob Mueller would have approached it differently," Comey said.

22 min ago

Comey: "It's possible" the Russians have leverage over President Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey told CNN's Anderson Cooper "it's possible" that the Russians continue to have leverage over President Trump.

Here's the exchange:

Cooper: "You think the Russians have leverage over President Trump?"

Comey: "I don't know the answer to that."

Cooper: "Think it's possible?"

Comey: "Yes."

15 min ago

Comey defends Obama's response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election

Former FBI Director James Comey said President Obama "faced a very difficult choice" when it came to notifying the American public that the Russians were meddling in the 2016 election, because it would have helped them meet one of their goals -- destabilizing American democracy.

"The No. one goal for the Russians is to damage our democracy and undermine faith in our electoral process," Comey explained.

"If [Obama] makes an announcement that the Russians are coming for the election, has he just accomplished their goal for them? And is he giving Donald Trump an excuse to say Obama fixed the election?"

"I get why he struggled with it," Comey said, adding that Obama did a "very sensible thing" by trying to get the bipartisan leaders of Congress to jointly tell the American people it was happening.

"In my view, to their everlasting shame, the Republicans refused," Comey said.

McConnell didn't see it that way: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in March 2018 from Obama's former chief of staff that he didn't respond properly to suspected Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying, "I'm perfectly comfortable with the steps that were taken back then."

21 min ago

Comey on 2020 election: "You cannot have a president who's a chronic liar"

Former FBI Director James Comey should consider President Trump's character when their voting for the country's next president.

"To my mind, this question at the top level is so obviously answered, you cannot have a president who's a chronic liar. I don't care what your passions around tax cuts or regulation or immigration. I respect difference there," he said.

Comey continued:

"The President of the United States cannot be someone who lies constantly. I thought Republicans agreed with that. It's one of the reasons I'm no longer a Republican. I hope the American people will realize we have to start at that values level no matter what our political background and answer that question first. And if that's a close question in an election, then get to the important policy differences."
29 min ago

Comey says DOJ should "take a serious look" at charging Trump when he's no longer president

Asked if he thinks President Trump should be charged based on evidence in special counsel Robert Mueller's report, former FBI Director James Comey said the Department of Justice should "take a serious look at that.

"I think the Justice Department will have to take a serious look at that. Whether it's a wise thing to do to a former president, I don't know. That's a harder question, a much bigger question than the facts of the case."

CNN's Anderson Cooper went on to ask if he through there was enough evidence to prosecute Trump.

Comey said: "Sure looks like it's there with respect to at least a couple of those episodes of obstruction."