Why James Comey likens Trump to a 'forest fire': Part 1

The White House attacked Comey for discussing his reasoning behind many controversial decisions as FBI director in an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.
9:44 | 04/17/18

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Transcript for Why James Comey likens Trump to a 'forest fire': Part 1
A preside must adhere to the values a there of the country. The mostmp being truth. This president is not able too that. He is morally unfit to be president. Last night's stunning statement, ricocheting today on the ws. This war of wordet president the FBI director who fired. After James Comey's explosive interview. I think he struggle to answer basic questions and lookedshaky. President tru watched portions of abcews James Comey interview. As he left thehite house this morning he didn't answer ABC news johnca Did you get a chance T watch Comey interview, Mr. Prent, Mr. President, Comey says yre Mally unfit to E. Any reaction, the president did take Twitter yesterday morning to fume. Cag the fir FBI director slippery. Worst director in history. Toni"nightline" brings Y more on sf truth and lies. Ou must tl T truth. It matters enormously. An extraorry moment in American history with the former director of the fls prest who fired him, destructive. I likensident trump in the book to a for fire. Going to do tremendousdamage. Going to damage those important but a fe gives healthy things a cto grow. Promoting a higher loyalty, Mey explains why he is steppi forward now. Why the ti a higher loyalt T comes from a rre conversn the president at dinner at white N January of last year. Where H asked my loyalty onally, as the fbity to American people and the institution. It grows out of a lifetime. Reporter: H moral compass called iestion. Petty attacks on the president The president didn't laugh. Not at all. So struck B it I stayed with me. I went and to find examples of videos, where hs laughing. I could only find one, that wasn't real a genuine laugh. Orter: Also under fire for the publiole he played over two years. Incidents reflect his own diffult choices between ncealing or revealing information to themerican B -- public. Irst pre conference, regarding Hillary Clinton's e-mail Mey concluding there was no crimal intent and no reason T prosecute Clinton but he was also harshly critical. There is evidence that they were extra careless in their information. Reporter: He did not disclose his fng in advance to his bossttorney general Loretta lynch. I decided I would read , say it out loud, sot people could hear the tone of M voice. Wouldn't take anyquestions. Reporter: Comeyasoncerned the publightstion lynch's imptiity after her impromeeting O an airport mac with bill Clinton. He sided to take matte into S own hand Critics say your ego got the best of yr original sin. I hear that always a risk that I blind how I am ting. Ion't think so. If it wasbout ego why would I step out in front the organization and get shot 1,00 S. Reporter: In a statement to ABC news yesterday, Loretta lync denied discussing the inveation with any OROM the Clinton campaign or the DNC and said in part that if James Comey a ccerns regarding the e-mail invest CL clasfied or ne had ample opportunities to raise them withme privately and in INGs. He N did. His second S to come clean or hold,ober 28th, 2016, 11 days before election day. The FBI bombshell for Hillary clintonea they will nowstigate newly discovered S. Hillary Clinton is convi that letter defeat he what you say to her? Hope not. I don't ow. I honestly don't know. I sureope not. The honest answer is it wo't change the way I think about it now now I didn't find anything but have to come with me to the 28th of October, silt there wi . What would you do? Iee two doors.I can't fd a door that says no action two actions speak or con speaking would be terrible. Ncealing would becatastroph of Comey's de Comey's wife, Patrice, a CLI supporter disaees. As supporter ofillary Clinton I wanted her to say that's what iowan the FBI todo they have to do that.in fee lookhe attacked the institution a my husband. I was disappointed I still wanted her to Reporteer husband would stay silent during theelecttion about information dd trump's mpaign was the subject of an counteli investigation for possible coortion with Russia. THAs very different. We did notan the Americans to know we had reason toelieve ey might be working with the because W got to run this down and investigateit. Reporter: In January, 2017, Comey does tell the inming president about sensitive B unverified information the received from what they believe to be a credible source. A salacious Al gafgs trums encounter with prostitutn Moscow. Why tell W have been told by the press they're about run with it. One way to defeatersary is tell the person that may B ac mailed, we the government knowut this leverage on you. Second, he is going to be presid ofhe United States. How could we the leaders of the intellig communi kw something, whether it is true or T about him personally, that Ng to bome public, that the Russians may have and not share it with him. Did you T him the steel do had been financed by political opnts? No, I don't think I used the term steel dossier.ad ma Did he have the right to K ? That it had been Finan by his political opponents. 'T know answer to that. It wasn't necessary for my gel which alert him that, W this information. I wl faithfully execute the office of president the united St. Days after the inauguration, in a private on-one dinner at the white house,ey ss the president makes a T. He said, I exp loyalty, I need Loya and I just, stared at him. And this lerative with myself ins sa,on't you move. Don't you dare move. Don't even ink. Why not say no? I think because I was cau by rise. Reporter: He says the president asked a second time. Comey hedges a aees to give the president"hest loyalty." Givt I worried H mightnot tell the truth. I thought I knead T have a written record of this. I went home on my personal computnd creed a memo. Kept a copy in my personal safe home. Left a copy at the becse it was abut bothtecting the FBI and protecting me Reporter: H documented a meeting with the president. February , the day after NSA or Michael Flynn was fired.coays tmp made a request. He said H hopes I can let it go. When he said that, you thou He is asking me to drophe criminal investition of his now former national city adviser. Ok the -- expression ofope as -- this is what, what I want you to do. Thesident says he didn't that. Yeah, well. What am I going he did.comey's sry Abo the conversation has staye same. Do you solemnly swear to the truth. From his senate tmony under th. I took it as direction. He is the president the unitedtates with me alone saying I H is. I took it as this IST nts me to do. I dbey that. That's the way iit. Reporter: Comey wouea his memos a decisione hope would and in fact did lead to appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the FBI investigation into coordinaetween the trump campaign and that investigation, now include a potential obstructio O justice case invng Comey's firing. Ifert Mueller decide to br a case,ld B a me T be. I'm a fact witness.that relates to I'm S to obstruction investigation. Where that go go, don't know. Mr. Ler, a you investigating the president S Mueller's investigation coues to heat Comey still questions why trump seems often hesit to criticize vladamir Putin. Why is preside trumpo reluctant tall vladamir pu Ion't know. I am S by it. And I'm by it, both in public and in private. Ld think in private, talking T the FBI director, whose job it is to, thwart russianatta you might acknowledgtsnemy of ours is an enemy ofrs. But I never saw it. Do you think the Russians haveetnonald trum I think it is poss. I don't know. These are moreord I never thought I woulder about a esident of the united states.possible. That's stunning.you can't say for certain that the presidentfheni states is not compared runs? It is stunni. I wis wasn't saying it is J the uth. It,lways struck M and still rikes me as likely. And I would have been able to Y with high confidence about any oth presi that I dealtwi but I T. It's possible. Reporter: When wee back, former director Comey's remarkable CLA about president trump'srent chief staff, Kelly. He intended toign because he wouldn't workor peoplwho would treat someone like me in such on. He was going to quit.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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