Former FBI Director James Comey was a registered Republican for most of his life, but now he believes “the Republican Party has left me and many others.”
“I just think they’ve lost their way and I can’t be associated with it,” Comey said in an interview on the ABC News podcast “Start Here,” adding that he no longer considers himself a Republican.
He said he believes the Republican Party began to change during the 2016 presidential campaign and has continued to change with President Donald Trump in office. It wasn’t until he was fired by Trump that Comey started to focus more on politics and realized, “These people don’t represent anything I believe in.”
He noted that the Republican National Committee launched a website dedicated to him: LyinComey.com. He said it served as “no better evidence” that the GOP had left him.
“I see the Republican Party, as near as I can tell, reflects now entirely Donald Trump’s values,” Comey told host Brad Mielke. “It doesn’t reflect values at all. It’s transactional, it’s ego-driven, it’s in service to his ego. And it’s, I think, consoling itself that we’re going to achieve important policy goals — a tax cut or something.”
Despite his distaste for politics and the Republican Party, Comey mentioned former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney when asked about any Republicans he does respect.
Romney is a “person of principle and honor,” according to Comey, and represents “somebody you have to respect because they care about the values that everyone should care about no matter what your party affiliation is.”
Looking ahead to 2020, Comey, who told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos he didn’t vote in 2016, said on “Start Here” he plans to vote against Trump.
“I can’t imagine a circumstance of me voting for President Trump,” Comey said, “Given what I think he reflects in terms of values.”
He’s also reluctant to hit the campaign trail for a presidential candidate in 2020. But he hasn’t ruled it out.
“I find politics to be kind of icky in general,” he said. “I’d never want to run for office myself … I’d certainly want to speak.”
Comey said he doesn’t care whether people vote for a Republican or a Democrat, but “they have to support somebody who reflects the values of this country.”
“If we don’t get that right, we can waste all the time we want to waste on fighting about policy,” he said. “We’re losing something that is essential to America.”
“Start Here” is a daily ABC News podcast hosted by Brad Mielke featuring original reporting on stories that are driving the national conversation. Listen for free at Apple Podcasts – also available on TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio and the ABC News app.