'The Interview:' James Comey exclusive interview

George Stephanopoulos talks about his interview with the former FBI director.
14:44 | 04/16/18

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Transcript for 'The Interview:' James Comey exclusive interview
I'm gonna vote here in New York welcome to ABC news live I am joined now by ABC news key anchor George Stephanopoulos after that bomb show interview. With former FBI director James call me George just incredible job last thank you very much thank you Bob so let's get right into it I'm curious about your first impressions of games coming when you sat down with finger in his home. Or your first impressions. They came to play a. Pretty much that was at a news is very clear to me that. He is chomping at the bid. To tell this story. I mean we know we got fired we knew we had that day of hearings after Gephardt but since then he hasn't spoken he's had a couple of tweaks changed with the president. But I think he. As someone who's in an incredibly unique position. You know an FBI director who was investigating. Both campaigns in one of the most divisive. Presidential elections in our history and fired. By that by the president who won after over. As he believes over that investigation. And then you've got the other side believing that his actions actually cost. Then election frequent think she cost in the election this is a guy who's in an absolutely unique position and as a separate the top of the show last night is a polarizing figure for polarized time. So if you're sitting there and he felling of the countless first the council meeting the president be nervous. The Oval Office meeting. Did you fund to be credible man who's gone through so much in the past year as well at one point I think he said quote it's up to be James called me. The so his critics say he'll say anything the White House obviously that Acton so did you find him to be credible if he thought there. Yet again this isn't the first time he's told some ministries he would he said he's told them under oath. Today. To the congress. Presumably he's told them under oath to Robert Mueller and his investigation. And listened. James Conley has its critics there's no question about then of course the White House is pushing this line that he's a liar. But over the course of these his career. He's shown the these men could be self righteous at times that. Make sure displaying. Independence. It's hard to see any record of dishonesty. In his in his career so yes I did find him I did find him credible overall and there were times. When some of the questions kind of comfortable that he. Got a little warm day. Than others I think it's still difficult for him to look back at some of those decisions around. The campaign 2016. To see. How much criticism they've drawn. And two in some ways to defend them but I don't think the credibility is his problem. Do you think that vagueness with because he was holding back on some things maybe there were things you know as far as the investigation pass on information that maybe he knew. That he that's the reason he was holding backer who. To the ongoing Russian investigation he pulled back a little bit because he can't talk about that he he cannot talk. About classified information so I think there were times. When he said less that he might now but overall I do you think he used to. Got a story tell the term to tell. Are a lot of big moment for ethical look at this clip from last night and Bjork homey have some pretty. Scathing judgments personal judgments about the president. You write the president from this unethical. Untethered to the truth. Is Donald Trump unfit to be president. Yes but not in the wave I often hear people talk about it I don't buy the stuff about him being. Mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia he strikes me as a person of above average intelligence. Who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on I don't think he's medically unfit to be president I think he's morally unfit to be president. Person who sees moral equivalents and Schultz who. Who talks about an treats women like they're pieces of meat who lives. Constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it. That person's not fit to be president of the United States on moral grounds our president. Must embody respect and adhere to the values that are the core of this country the most important being truth. This president is not able to do that he's morally unfit to be president. Aren't so pretty strong words there co mes article far and that. That would surprise that he felt that he didn't believe that the president should be impeached. A little bit now you know if you read the whole tragically and we put up a whole transcript wore a reason. This was several hours. And in view where turned ask. All the critical questions that are on people's minds. He did go on David obviously if Robert Mueller comes out the report that shows clear high crimes and misdemeanors when impeachment. Is for but I think it's true that he we would prefer that. Not to happen any who prefer people to. Take responsibility. For our country's future break on the ballot box and it's clear that this is a Guyton who was determined to keep. The FBI out of politics the area of course and it went right in the pollute political fray his he said in the interview he didn't vote. In 2000 election did voters FBI. Director but now it seems. That part of what he wants to do is a citizen is inspire people to get engaged politically. Interest in point. By called me and as we talk about the reaction the White House when it RNC the White House were ready to attack on me. Sarah Sander said today white house Press Secretary that the president's all bits and pieces of the interview last night mutually before retreating before. Know what surprised that the president went hard after called me and calling him slippery games Komi liar leaker. Yeah and in I asked Kerry Sanders to fund this week yesterday before he became out of that he sure you wanna get into it. Credibility war with teams combing our poll RA BC news poll shows that Americans going in. Tend to believe came to you think that teams commit more credibility the president from about 48 to 32. Percent to teams combing and those encounters with the president he took contemporaneous notes. He's given those notes to Robert Mueller he spoke with his associates at senior levels of the FBI. In their pregnancies that they will be witnesses to that as well again it's one of the questions laughs there's Sanders yesterday does the president have evidence that would back up his side. Of the story I mean we will see over time remember the president for city of tapes and then said. He didn't. Nick thome said he was first excited excited by the Ortiz that in that's in fact that tweet. Is what Comesa has sparked. He is. The decision to leak. Parts of those memos now it is true I mean 11 thing about the way of saying this thinking is a measly acre. Yeah he was bleaker there's admitted that he leave me admitted to that on the on his note he says not classified information which the president. Charges has him way but he says yes he did leak those notes. And as you saw on the news that was one of the areas were pressed him pretty hard. A few times because. Here he's here's a guy is talking about transparency and this is who want to just do it openly yourself rather than give attitude referring to the New York Times. And you know he gave his answer on that he thought he would have to answer other. Questions will be something of an inconvenience. But I think that was one of the points where. He is vulnerable. To criticism and questioning. So the heart of this matter of the investigation to elect collusion between the trump campaign and Russians -- think another look at this clip here from Georgia's. Do you think the Russians have something I don't term I think it's possible I don't know. And these are more words and earth good under about a president states but it's possible at stunning. You can't say for certain the present United States is not compromised. By the Russians. It is stunning and I wish I wasn't saying it but it's just it's the truth it always struck me and still strikes me is unlikely. And I would have been able to say with high confidence about any other president I dealt with but. I can't it's possible. Startling than. Well I senate starting. Stunning because there is I mean think about that we won't get used to these things went by giving them for such a long time. Former FBI director. Who conducted the rush investigation. Can't say for certain that the present United States the sitting president the United States is not compromised. By the Russians. I can't think of any other time. In our history nor could he. When someone in his position say something. Like that. It was a big moment also on line people reacted to that I want to get some questions from folks who they unit were sounding off George. You can have a concert. A lot of years that night go to the first question from could be here today on sweaters that if you felt it important for the public know that. Hillary Clinton with under additional investigation why would that not is equally important for the public to know that several of trump campaign staff are under investigation surveillance without question. Two police are asked I asked that question directly to James coming seniors. A lot of people like that he has had this is a clear double standard. You revealing information about Hillary Clinton you're concealing information. About. About. Down China has answers that at the time because of where that investigation wasn't kind of tipped off it was a counterintelligence investigation would tipped those under investigation. That's. I think that was his stronger. Response. The weaker response was it was too close to election that can hold true. On the Clinton substitute. I think that was weaker in that respect. But I you know that's. Struck a lot of people. Particularly when you combine it with. That lately. Release of the letter saying he reopened the investigation. Is putting your thumb on the scale movement election so many. Just this whole process went he went through with Hillary Clinton you know investigation. What the initial stages of the Russian investigation that's the that's when offer from Kyle here is as it's called me theme like he's changed at all in his motives. With congressional testimony last summer to the book toward it he fee how his role could potentially damage Muller's investigation. Does he feel his role is beneficial to the investigative process it could hurt it. I asked him that last question. He says he doesn't think it would hurt if he thought it would. You wouldn't do it but you know that's fair would it is it possible that a might know he's already hold two story. To Robert Mueller underwrote one of the things I ask many views is he willing to be witness for the prosecution if it comes in and he said yes of course if that's what Robert. Muller wants. I think his motives and the case are connected I think if you do you combine. His desire to get the story out back in many of. T February April may have to may June 2017. And today. What connects them. Is that. Woody said the beginning of this interview he thinks. President trump is dangerous. President thinks term presence he's a forest fire. He wants try to find ways of to put it out when that the special counsel with its they're telling the story. Let's let's get to that one more clip here from that every fourteenth Oval Office meeting where between present company called me. Where the director says the president while the investigation to Michael planned the former national security advisor who was fired want to Russians take a look. And that's when he asked me that city hopes like in Monaco and when he said that you thought he's asking me to drop the criminal investigation of who's. Now former national security of Eisner. Direction I took it is a direction he's his words were though I hope you Politico I took the expression of hope parents. This is what I want you to do this president says he didn't say that. Yet. Plumber gonna do he did stuff with president trump obstructing justice possibly. Mean it's certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice. I got a thing that the answer right before the obstruction of justice. To me is the most. Telling moment in three pairs. Yeah well what went in and he did. So matter of fact so tossed off here just in the the way nods his head that we throws it out the inflection in his voice you see that. No other word for complete tooth pain. For president term he believes president from. Is a liar lies all the time about things big and small his words and that he's lying about these matters central. To the investigation and that's why he believes he said it. I thought in the interview he leaned into this more than he did in the book when asked loses its second guess who he leaned in to possibly. With with a with a little bit of an edge. I think if he weren't connected to the investigation be worn a witness he it's seemed to me in this is just one person's impression. That. He thinks is a pretty good case. With George subject because an incredible. Moment. And that interview and telling that this former federal prosecutor this person who led the initial stage you know investigation into Russia in appearance. Said that he believes the president obstructed justice upstart could that could these opponents to write it but yes absolutely I think it's huge. So the question at what happens next what will what kind of impact will this pat. Yeah. Will the robber -- doing his work. And and presumably mean. Woodward teams come he's now told the country. He told Robert Mueller. Verona will look at all sides of that and ruled that will decide whether or not to indict wanted to write a report. George I think you may have some more questions for James come tomorrow morning live on GMA first live in your. You heard that so Georgia is not done speaking with Kohl mean the former a better rules that now where its first live interview with George on Good Morning America tomorrow. But it seemed more last night bombshell interview go to abcnews.com. ABC's app again. Thanks in large sign maker George Stephanopoulos thanks sort things I'm gonna move in with ABC's live.

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

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