Former FBI director James Comey strengthened his credibility with his blockbuster Thursday testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward said in an interview on CBS News Friday morning.
Woodward, now an associate editor at the Washington Post, said that Comey’s admission about asking a friend to leak memos containing detailed records of the ex-FBI chief’s one-on-one interactions with President Trump benefited Comey’s reputation for honesty — even though Trump himself and his allies have slammed Comey for the leaks. As a Washington Post reporter in the 1970s, Woodward helped break the story that led to former President Nixon’s resignation.
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“I think it actually was enhanced. Because [Comey] was honest about it,” Woodward said, comparing Comey to his Watergate source Deep Throat, who was also a top FBI official.
“Comey has come and said look, I wanted to get this out, I think we need a special counsel to investigate that,” Woodward said.
Following Comey’s testimony, Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz read a prepared statement Thursday that suggested the ousted FBI chief should be investigated for sharing his detailed memos, which he called an “unauthorized disclosure of privileged information” that “appears to be entirely retaliatory.”
Kasowitz plans to file a complaint against Comey with the Justice Department and Senate judiciary committee over the leaked memos, CNN reports.
Woodward also called Comey’s testimony about a conversation in which Trump allegedly said he hoped Comey would “let go” of the Flynn investigation “very damaging,” but he stopped short of calling Trump’s actions an obstruction of justice.
Only about “5 to 10 percent” of questions in the Russia probe have been answered, the Watergate reporter said.
“What’s missing here at this point is a clear crime,” Woodward said. “What Russia did in the election last year, it was a classic espionage operation. … You’ve got to find out who did that, was it somebody in the Trump campaign, or Trump himself somehow involved?”
Read more from Yahoo News:
- James Comey on Trump meeting: ‘Lordy, I hope there are tapes’
- White House: Just a ‘regular Thursday’ despite Comey firestorm
- Comey asked Columbia Law professor to leak memos to reporter
- Comey: ‘I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russian investigation’
- Photos: James Comey testifies at Senate hearing