Former FBI Director James Comey accused President Donald Trump of undermining “the rule of law” with a tweet calling his former attorney Michael Cohen “a rat.”
“This is the president of the United States calling a witness who has cooperated with his own Justice Department ‘a rat,'” Comey told reporters on Monday. “This is not about Republicans and Democrats, this is about what it means to be an American. What are the things we care about? Above our policy disputes, which are important, there’s a set of values that represent the glue of this country. And they are under attack by things just like that.”
Comey’s remarks followed his second closed-door testimony with congressional lawmakers investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. The nearly six-hour meeting did not appear to go well, as Comey lambasted House Republicans after leaving the Senate room.
“Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matter and the truth matters,” said the former FBI director. “Where are those Republicans today?”
“At some point, someone has to stand up, and in the face of fear of Fox News, fear of their base, fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country,” Comey continued.
On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that Cohen “became a ‘Rat'” after federal agents unlawfully raided the attorney’s Manhattan office this past spring. Several hours later, Comey shot back on Twitter, accusing the president of “lying about the lawful execution of a search warrant issued by a federal judge.”
“Somebody has to stand up and speak for the FBI and the rule of law,” Comey told reporters on Monday. “I hope there’s more somebodies than just me… the FBI’s reputation is taking a big hit because the president of the United States has lied about it constantly.”