Former FBI Director James Comey, who is on a book tour for his latest mystery novel, said the next president of the United States "has to be Joe Biden" and that another hack of U.S. elections by the Russians could be in store for 2024.
Comey spoke with Jen Psaki in an interview aired Sunday on her new MSNBC show, "Inside With Jen Psaki." The former White House press secretary said to him, "You were a Republican most of your life ... and you may still consider yourself one" — to which Comey shook his head no — "but voted for Biden in 2020.
"Do you intend to vote for him again or is there anyone on the Republican side you might consider if it's not [former President Donald] Trump?"
"It has to be Joe Biden," Comey responded. "And I am glad he is willing to serve. It has to be somebody committed to the rule of law, committed to the values of this country."
Psaki then said, "One of the focuses that seems to have faded from the headlines is the threat of Russia intervening in our electoral process and system.
"You know, Trump," Psaki continues, " recently ... wouldn't say if Ukraine should prevail over Russia. Given his affinity for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and his outlook on the war, do you expect — or should we expect — Russia to interfere on his behalf in 2024 if he's the nominee?"
"Yes, of course," Comey replied. "Vladimir Putin does not want Joe Biden to be president of the United States for reasons that I hope the American people see. Because [Biden] acts in our national interest. [Putin] would very much like Donald Trump to be president again. Because Donald Trump is, for reasons I still can't explain, very, very fond of Vladimir Putin. And so they will find ways to interfere. I hope our intelligence community is equipped to respond maybe better than we did in 2016."
In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, associates tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign provided the FBI with the now-debunked claims of the Steele dossier and the Alfa Bank narrative.
But it wasn't until last month that special counsel John Durham publicly released his report stating there was no "actual evidence of collusion" between Trump and Russia.
"[T]he government," the report reads, "possessed no verified intelligence reflecting that Trump or the Trump campaign was involved in a conspiracy or collaborative relationship with officials of the Russian government. Indeed, based on the evidence gathered in the multiple exhaustive and costly federal investigations of these matters, including the instant investigation, neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion in their holdings at the commencement of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation."
Crossfire Hurricane was the codename for the FBI's investigation.
"Indeed," the report goes on to conclude, "had the FBI opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation as an assessment and, in turn, gathered and analyzed data in concert with the information from the Clinton Plan intelligence, it is likely that the information received would have been examined, at a minimum, with a more critical eye."
(The Clinton Plan intelligence refers to "tying [Trump] to Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee.")
"A more deliberative examination would have increased the likelihood of alternative analytical hypotheses and reduced the risk o f reputational damage both to the targets o f the investigation as well as, ultimately, to the FBI."
"The FBI thus failed to act on what should have been — when combined with other, incontrovertible facts — a clear warning sign that the FBI might then be the target of an effort to manipulate or influence the law enforcement process for political purposes during the 2016 presidential election."
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