Apr 2, 2019

Comey concedes he may have been responsible for Trump's election

James Comey. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

In a Tuesday interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, former FBI Director James Comey conceded that his decision to announce in October 2016 that the FBI was reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server may have helped Trump win the election, but defended it as "the least terrible option."

Amanpour: "Do you ever think that you might be responsible for the election of President Trump? Does that keep you up at night?"
Comey: "Sure. And I hope someday somebody proves that we were irrelevant. ... I hope we had no impact. I hope it's proven that it was irrelevant. But all it does is increase the pain. It doesn't change how I think about the decision. My view and the view of my team was: I cannot conceal from the American people that the investigation we told them, and fought to tell them, is done, is done, is done — is not done, and the result could change."

What else: Comey also said Attorney General William Barr "deserves the benefit of the doubt" with respect to redacting certain parts of the Mueller report before releasing it. "Give him a chance to show us what he feels like he can't show us," Comey said during the interview.

  • Last week, Comey pushed back against Barr's decision not to pursue obstruction charges against Trump. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has indicated that he plans to question Comey in a new probe of the FBI's decision to open an investigation into Trump.

Go deeper: Comey calls Mueller's position on Trump obstruction charges "confusing"

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In photos: How coronavirus is impacting cities around the world

Revellers take part in the "Plague Doctors Procession" in Venice on Tuesday night during the usual period of the Carnival festivities, most of which have been cancelled following the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has spread from China to infect people in more than 40 countries and territories around the world, killing over 2,700 people.

The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). Just Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.

See photosArrow2 hours ago - World

Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.