James Comey hit back at Hillary Clinton after the former secretary of state sniped at him over a Justice Department inspector general report which revealed that the former FBI director used a private email address to conduct official business - while his FBI was investigating Hillary for her own use of private systems.
But my emails. https://t.co/G7TIWDEG0p— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 14, 2018
In an interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit, Comey refused to apologize to Clinton - stressing the difference between his personal use of email for unclassified information vs. her use, which involved classified information.
“No. And here’s why," Comey said when asked if he would apologize. "I don’t want to criticize her, but it shows me that even at this late date, she doesn’t understand what the investigation in her case was about.”
“It was not about her use of a personal email system, and she didn’t get that during the investigation, because she used to say ‘Colin Powell when he was secretary of state used AOL,’ that was not what it was about,” Comey explained. “It was about communicating about classified topics on that system when those topics have to be done on a classified system.”
Comey defended his use of personal email - saying he only used it for things like sending himself drafts of speeches.
“What I would do, is when I had to write speeches—I would write my own speeches—I would type them at home and then gmail them into my government account,” Comey said. “Or, if I still had to work on the draft, I would send it home so I could work on it on my laptop.”
“I was not talking about anything remotely classified and the inspector general didn’t say that as well,” Comey said. “But I get why the tweet, and I get why people are focused on it, but it’s a totally different thing.”
The former FBI Director also touched on the text messages uncovered between FBI Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page, who were having an extramarital affair together and harbored extreme anti-Trump / pro-Clinton bias.
"We archive the texts, so maybe it's a sign we don't have the brightest people working at our organization," joked Comey, adding "I never saw any indication of bias and Peter Strozk did the first draft of my letter to Congress on October 28th that Hillary Clinton blames for her losing the election, so how exactly is he trying to get Donald Trump?"
"I don't see any evidence of a conspiracy, if the president and his allies want to claim a conspiracy they have to encompass all the data, I don't see how you could approach this and conclude we were on Hillary Clinton's side or on Donald Trump's side and I never saw any indication from those two people," he said.
Comey initially responded to the Inspector General's report in a New York Times op-ed last week, the day the report came out. He was sure to point out that the IG report "found no evidence that bias or improper motivation affected the investigation," and said that "in hindsight I think we chose the course most consistent with institutional values."
Whatever those are...