In his upcoming memoir, former FBI director James Comey recounts an intimate conversation he had with President Barack Obama.
After Democrats condemned Comey over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, Obama told Comey that he still had confidence in his integrity and ability.
“I want you to know that nothing has happened in the last year to change my view,” Obama said, according to Comey’s book.
Former FBI director James Comey and President Barack Obama shared a heartfelt moment amid the condemnation Comey was receiving over the FBI’s handing of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
In Comey’s upcoming book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” Comey recounted the late November, 2016 meeting with Obama in the Oval Office.
“I picked you to be FBI director because of your integrity and your ability,” Obama said to Comey, according to the book. “I want you to know that nothing has happened in the last year to change my view.”
Obama’s words came at a time when Comey was under intense scrutiny over some of the actions he took during the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server. Democrats were seething, gripped by the notion that Comey’s public pronouncements about the investigation had damaged Clinton, who was the party’s 2016 presidential nominee.
That reassurance from Obama reportedly left Comey on the verge of tears.
“Boy, were those words I needed to hear … I’m just trying to do the right thing,” Comey recounted in the book.
“I know,” Obama replied. “I know.”
Comey also described encounters with other lawmakers who offered their support at the time. According to Comey, an emotional Sen. Chuck Schumer grabbed him by the hand: “I know you. You were in an impossible situation,” Schumer said.
In the memoir, Comey leaves a message for Clinton, who blamed Comey for her election loss.
“I have read she has felt anger toward me personally, and I’m sorry for that,” Comey wrote. “I’m sorry that I couldn’t do a better job explaining to her and her supporters why I made the decisions I made.”