The New Yorker Interview
James Comey on His Infamous Dinner with Trump
By The New Yorker
April 23, 2018


James Comey on His Infamous Dinner with Trump
 
On Thursday, James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., sat down with David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, for a live taping of The New Yorker Radio Hour at the Town Hall theatre, in midtown Manhattan. Comey spoke with Remnick for more than an hour, and he gave the impression of somebody who’d grown comfortable being uncomfortable. Much of the talk focussed on a dinner Comey shared with Trump, in the White House, a few days after the President’s Inauguration—a meal Comey thought was going to be a group affair, but which was, in fact, a one-on-one sitdown. “I figured that it was just the two of us, by standing in the doorway and seeing this little table in the middle of the Green Room,” he said, describing his realization that no other guests would be joining him and the President. There was laughter, and Remnick cut in, “The director of the F.B.I. can figure that out.”
“Yeah, yeah, investigator,” Comey replied. “Your tax dollars were well spent with me.”


James Comey on the Clinton E-mails and Guilt
Comey and Remnick went back and forth on a number of topics—the notorious “dossier” about Donald Trump compiled by a former British spy, Comey’s opinion of the President’s fitness for office, the institutional culture of the F.B.I.—and the people who filled the theatre often interjected their own thoughts. When Comey described the “emptiness” that he perceived in Trump, and the “hunger for affirmation” that he had never before seen “in an adult,” the audience interrupted with nervous chuckles. When he said that it was “possible” that the dossier was substantive, there was a drawn-breath silence. And when he described another meeting with Trump—a talk “about Moscow and prostitutes,” in the Oval Office—as “a bit of an out-of-body experience,” there was warm, knowing laughter.
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