Former FBI director James Comey sat down with USA TODAY for an exclusive interview in his Virginia home, delivering explosive words about his firing, President Trump, Moscow and Hillary Clinton.
Here are the biggest highlights from the interview, complete with when they occur in the video above.
2:20 - Why Trump is unfit for office
Comey does not believe President Trump is “mentally unfit” to be president, saying that he saw no evidence of that, but instead that Trump is “morally unfit” for the Oval Office, having no “external moral framework” for making decisions.
3:55 - Comparing Trump to a mob boss
Did Trump immediately strike Comey as a mob boss, to which he likens him in the book? The comparison hit Comey right away, he says, though he himself initially denied it. No, Comey doesn't think Trump “is out breaking legs or shaking down shopkeepers," but he says the leadership culture is similar: "You are judged entirely by your fealty, your loyalty, to that boss."
5:40 - Has Trump been compromised by the Russians?
"It's possible," Comey says. "I'm not saying it's likely, but I don't know and the honest answer is it's possible." Key to Comey, he says, is that Trump refused to even to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin in private. “If you asked me two years ago whether I would ever say that about an American president? Of course not, that would never happen.”
7:50 - On Trump's alleged impropriety in a Moscow hotel room, and his focus on Melania Trump during his denial
Comey details his conversations with Trump about the allegations in the dossier involving prostitutes in Moscow and explains his baffled train-of thought when he says Trump expressed concerned about “a one-percent chance that [Melania] believes this is true.” While Trump's "initial denial seemed reasonable," Comey says that "when someone constantly brings up to deny something you're not asking about, that's an interesting fact."
10:05 - Why firing special counsel Robert Mueller would be 'an attack on the rule of law'
Comey says that firing an “independent prosecutor" such as Mueller who works "within a chain of command" should be a "blaring alarm for everybody, regardless of your political affiliation." It would amount to “an attack on the rule of law that we have not seen in our lifetime."
In his own words: 8 key quotes from James Comey on Donald Trump and what's next
13:00 – Defending Rod Rosenstein in the wake of Comey's firing
Asked about the conduct of the deputy attorney general since President Trump fired Comey last year, Comey offers a defense of Rosenstein: “I suspect part of it is to make up for what he did in connection with my firing.”
14:25 – On whether he aided Clinton's defeat
Is it fair to say Comey aided Donald Trump's election by announcing the Hillary Clinton email investigation was reopened? “I think it is fair to question my decision, to criticize my decisions in all kind of ways… I don’t remember thinking about the polls.” Comey says he hopes that readers will see what "President Obama saw: Someone trying to make decisions without regard to politics.”
17:40 – Was Loretta Lynch impartial in the Clinton investigation? Comey notes 'unreleased' info
Asked about his reference in the book to a piece of classified information that brings into question the impartiality of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Comey notes that "I'm as far forward as I can be, given the classified nature of the material," which has "not been released."
19:30 – Clinton email investigation: Has he seen the inspector general’s review of his actions?
Comey talks about the pending Inspector General’s report into his conduct during the Clinton email investigation, and specifically his decision-making that went into doing the July 5, 2016 press conference in which he said there was not sufficient evidence to make a case against Clinton, and the late October 2016 notification to Congress that the investigation was reopened.
20:30 – His feelings on the texts between two Clinton investigators
Given a chance to publicly respond to the email exchanges between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok during the Clinton email investigation, Comey calls the conduct “terrible judgment,” and says that he heard and witnessed no inkling of their relationship or their bias. "It really bugged me," he says.
23:00 – Comey on Trump’s decision to pardon Scooter Libby
Would Trump pardoning Scooter Libby — as he later did Friday — signal to Trump allies that they should stick with him? "There is a reason that George W. Bush refused to pardon Scooter Libby," Comey says. "He examined that case really closely.”
24:30 – On getting recognized — and approached — around the world
"Haters seem to stay away," Comey says. But he does get approached by people who offer statements of thanks and pity. Comey recalls an incident of being recognized even in Amsterdam. “You’re a giraffe, you can’t hide,” Comey says.