U.S.

James Comey Says Donald Trump Is Not the Worst U.S. President Ever

The former head of the FBI, James Comey, says that Donald Trump is not the worst president ever but would still only give him a “one or two out of ten.”

In an interview with the London, U.K., radio station LBC, Comey was asked his opinion about the current U.S. leader.

Trump fired him in May 2017 in a move that was criticized as undermining an investigation into claims Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

Radio host Nick Ferrari asked Comey about how he would rate Trump as president.

Comey said: “I would rate him… one or two, probably one. We have had worse presidents. Andrew Johnson was the president after Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson was a raving racist and drunk and terrible person, so I think he was worse.”

RTX699AT (1) U.S. President Donald Trump and Former FBI director James Comey (R) appear in Washington, DC, U.S., on May 24 and April 30, 2018 respectively. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (L) and Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

When asked about Barack Obama, who appointed him as FBI director in 2013, he had a far more favorable opinion, saying that he would “put him towards the top end” and said he would score “an eight.”

“My vision of him was mostly through the national security lens and so especially on that, he was very tough, very decisive when it comes to counter-terrorism.”

Comey told the radio host on Friday that Trump compromises the rule of law with his tweets. “He attacks the rule of law constantly in the United States with, I will be honest, lies, they are tweeted out early in the morning."

Comey said that he never once saw Trump laugh and described a one-hour dinner he once had with him.

“He talks nearly the entire time and it's about him telling you how great he is and seeking your affirmation. But there's no humor, which is deeply concerning in a leader."

Comey added that the U.S. under Trump had regressed to the same levels of intolerance and racism as the 1950s.

"We're in a period of reaction and pain and retrenchment. And we're led by someone who exploits that at the expense of the center of America, which is our values.

"But the good news is, we always get back on track. I live in a wonderful diverse country, which is often messy and bumpy. We make great progress, we then retrench, then we make great progress again. We will be ok."

Comey is in Europe promoting his memoir A Higher Loyalty in which he describes his career and the circumstances that led to the FBI reopening the email investigation into Hillary Clinton two weeks before U.S. election day, which some say swung the ballot in favor of Trump.

In an interview with The Guardian this week, he said he felt “pain” at the circumstances that put Trump into office but that he would not have done things differently.

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed there would be a probe into Comey’s apparent leak to the press of memos describing his interactions with Trump when questioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Trump dubbed Comey and other top members of the FBI “scum” and “thieves” in an interview last week on Fox and Friends after the release of the report about the agency's handling of the Clinton email investigation.