Transcript for New revelations from fired FBI director in exclusive interview
We headed to another dramatic moment in the presidency of Donald Trump yet tonight in a primetime interview right here on ABC James Connelly the former FBI director fired by president trump. Speaks exclusively to our chief actor George Stephanopoulos you know do you comes as a new ABC news Washington Post poll shows the president's approval rating. Taking up slightly he's gone from 36% in January to 40% today lifted. In part by the strong economy this is his highest approval rating in a year in his interview with George James calmly alleges that presidents Trump's behavior at times. Resembled that of a mob boss but call me also. Delves into other controversial aspects have his time. As FBI director including as you're about to see in a new clip his decision to announce eleven days before the election in 2016. That the FBI was reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. George is standing by with analysis but we do begin here with ABC's David Wright was at the White House force this morning David good morning TO. Good morning Paula and then almost a year after James tell me exit in this stage he is still a lightning rod of controversy one of the biggest of his career. His decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Just days before the election. If you knew that letter would like talent from its Tilson. And wound. It was the October surprise Hillary Clinton believes cost her the White House just over a week before Election Day then FBI director James Komi officially reopened the investigation. And to Clinton's use of a private email server for sensitive government business. After the FBI found new emails that appeared to be pertinent. On a computer Clinton's closest date homer Aberdeen shared with her estranged husband disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner. Hillary Clinton's convinced that that letter defeated her. But he said her. I hope not I don't know I honestly don't know I sure hope not. Pressed by ABC's George Stephanopoulos calmly does not say he believes he handed the presidency to trump. But does say he assumed at the time Clinton was likely to win I don't remember spelling it out but it had that. That she's going to be elected president in a fight hide this from the American people. She'll be a legitimate the moment she's elected Kobe says he's not sure he could have handled it any better. I pray to god no future FBI director ever has to find. At the time candidate trump applauded comb mis action that took guts now president trump calls call me a week. An untruthful slime ball quote. His handling of the crooked Hillary Clinton case and the events surrounding it will go down as one of the worst botched jobs of history. This country has a lot of real problems we should be talking about the economy we should talk about Syria we should talk about the drug crisis but instead we're talk about Jim Conley. This says a new ABC news Washington Post poll. Vines trumps approval rating languishing at 40%. Despite a thriving economy. 56% of Americans disapprove of his performance on the job the lowest approval of any chief executive since Harry S Truman. Now the president and his allies are pushing back hard on co only concerned that he might undermine trump again. His book is the first memoir from a major player to serve in the trump administration. And his interview with George his first since he was fired him. Well a lot of damage control going on David Wright from the White House thank you are happy to have. This week anchor George Stephanopoulos with us this morning charged. Yeah busy morning Leah has so we just heard company's explanation to you about the Clinton email investigation he says he's seeing that Hillary Clinton was going to win the election. But back in May 2017 he told congress when considering. The investigation whether what is gonna do what helped elect Donald Trump he said quote. I can't consider for a second two's political fortunes will be affected and what went a lot of people are putting out a contradiction you woods. He still says that he says the good he could not considered consciously there's no way he could do that and he didn't that's his strong strong contention what he's saying. Right there is that you know yes my assumption was. The hilly Clinton win as a was widely throughout the political world widely throughout the Obama administration affect your accounts and Medicare in the book. Forty talks about we'll discussion he had with President Obama or Obama tells him that couldn't backed the wrong horse this is in a discussion about how much to reveal. About the Russia. Intelligence investigations wall and what they were finding places that is a widespread. Assumption that he had and many others had inside the Obama administration but he did say he did not consciously consider that as he made this decision can be. It talking this morning about this new ABC news Washington Post poll that shows the president's president trumps approval rating taking up. To your eyes do you do you see anything in this call me book and interview that could hurt that a. We're operating well clearly it's a scathing assessment. Skating personal assessment of present from scathing assessment of his presidency what he believes. President trump is doing the institutions. And the rule of law in this country and will that convince people who are already on Gomez I'm not sure I mean there but we do know this is already top in the Amazon. That he unless there is huge huge interest. In this book and in the interview so we'll see what kind of effect that has over this there's so many things now. Buffeting. The China administration even those who say he is taking not. The fact that he still at 40% when the economy is the strong has to be a little worrying sign up for the trump White House. There's no love lost between these two gentlemen you have era fascinating than you have an understatement of the century I you have Sarah Huckabee Sanders on the show this morning how concerned is the White House about damage control especially. President cracked a term calling a slime ball of their lives. They're braced for the as you can see them they're good they're messages that James Conley is a liar and a leaker of course that the leaking of those notes he had his this. Meetings with president trump which I talked to him about in in the unity of a maligned thing I think that's going to be might be tough road. For the white as you saw our poll which shows that more Americans believe. Finding teams combing has more credibility. Than president trump and I think that one of the things we've seen. These discussions of these encounters of the president. James Corey did take contemporaneous notes and talk of the people there is a huge. Disconnect between what the president says that those meetings which James Cawley says about those meetings I think one of the things we're gonna find over time is how much back up. Robert Mueller has found pay for each side story. Fascinating interview millions of us will be watching tonight George thinking there are rushing and a reminder before Georgia's big special tonight you can see him go one on one with the white house Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is gonna talk about the west wing response to become the interview that's later this morning. Right here on AB CNN tonight you concede during his full interview with former FBI director James coming in a special primetime edition of 20/20 that's tonight at 10 o'clock eastern. Here on east he.
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