Donald Trump is "morally unfit" to be president, former FBI chief James Comey asserted on Monday as he claimed "it's possible" that Russia may have some information on him that Moscow could use to compromise him.
Comey, 57, who was unceremoniously fired by the US president in May last year, in a wide-ranging interview to ABC News warned that "The foundation of this country is in jeopardy when we stop measuring our leaders against that central value of the truth."
He also cautioned that if Trump ever tries to sack special counsel Robert Mueller, then it would be his "most serious attack yet on the rule of law" and causing "tremendous damage" to the country's institutions.
Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election and any potential ties between Trump campaign and Russia. Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a witch hunt and denied any collusion.
Comey led the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election before he was fired by Trump.
He called for a national moment of reflection, in which everybody, regardless of partisan views, to evaluate the President and to consider whether he presents a threat to America itself.
The former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's blunt comments came as the lawyer kicked off a high-profile tour to promote the release of his new book, "A Higher Loyalty."
Asked if he thinks the President has been compromised by the Russians, Comey said, "I think it's possible, I don't know," Comey said.
"I wish I wasn't saying it, but it's the truth. It always struck me, and still strikes me, as unlikely, and I would have been able to say with high confidence about any other president I dealt with, but I can't, it's possible," he said.
Comey expanded on that statement in an interview USA Today published today.
"There's a non-zero possibility that the Russians have some, some sway over him that is rooted in his personal experience, and I don't know whether that's the business about the activity in a Moscow hotel room or finances or something else," Comey said.
Trump, 71, has said the" badly reviewed book" raises "big questions". He also suggested Comey should be imprisoned, and in recent days began referring to him as a "slime ball".
With inputs from Business Standard.