Former FBI Director James Comey admitting to leaking memos of meetings with President Donald Trump to The New York Times helped, not hurt, his credibility before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward said Friday.
"I think it actually was enhanced, because he was honest about it," Woodward told the "CBS This Morning" program about Comey's admission that he'd handed off the memos to a friend, identified on Friday as Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman.
Richman confirmed to The Washington Post that he was the friend Comey asked to pass on the memos from his meetings, in hopes of spurring a special investigation. Comey's admission lead to furious tweets from Trump, who called him a liar and a leaker.
Meanwhile, the testimony was revealing, but there is still much information that is needed in the probe into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign team and the president himself.
"The big story is about what Russia did," Woodward said. "That's what's got to be investigated and what's missing here at this point is a clear crime. What Russia did in the election last year, it was a classic espionage operation."
The United States' own CIA "used to do this decades ago," Woodward continued. "So you've got to find out who did that . . . I think we now have about 5 to 10 percent of the answers to the questions we need."
Trump, meanwhile, "was obsessed" with Comey making a public declaration that he was not under investigation, said Woodward, but he thinks Comey should have gone ahead and made the announcement.
However, Woodward said there is a "dramatic difference" between the current situation and the Watergate investigation, as Comey is "not John Dean.'
"Comey is a witness about what Trump allegedly did," Woodward said. "Dean was so powerful 45 years ago as a witness because he said, 'Look, I was the president's lawyer in the White House and what I did was corrupt. We led the obstruction of justice. The President was in charge of this. And I was responding that way.'"
The main positive takeaway for Trump in Comey's testimony was that he was not under investigation.
"It's very damaging when Comey said, 'Look, at one meeting the president said let the Flynn investigation go,'" said Woodward.
Further, Woodward said it would be the best evidence if tapes exist that documented the meetings between Comey and Trump, as the president insinuated in a tweet after he fired the FBI director.
"If there had not been tapes in the Nixon case, he would have stayed in office, I'm sure," Woodward said.
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