Comey: Trump is 'morally unfit' to be President

Former FBI director James Comey talks Trump, Hillary Clinton and the Steele dossier with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, in the first sit-down, televised interview Comey's given since he was fired by President Trump last May.

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 12:38 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 12:43 PM

Donald Trump doesn't laugh.

That's according to former FBI Director James Comey, who told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he developed a bit of an obsession with Trump's lack of mirth after the President fired him last May.

Here's the exchange between Comey and Stephanopoulos on the lack of laughter:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You notice something else -- during that dinner. You say the President didn't laugh.

COMEY: Yeah, not at all. And I was struck by it. So struck by it, it stayed with me, that I've never seen him laugh. Not in public, not in private. And at a dinner with someone -- I mean, I'm not a comedian but I occasionally say something that's funny that people chuckle with each other.

But I never saw anything that resembled a laugh. And I could over-interpret that, I could be -- also, we're missing something that -- that maybe he's -- he's breaking up in stitches with other people other than the FBI director, but I also tried -- after I got fired, I thought -- that stayed with me. And so I went and tried to find examples of videos where he's laughing and I could only find that really wasn't a genuine laugh.

This is not, at the end of the day (or even at the beginning of the day) a hugely important debate, especially when compared to other allegations Comey made in the five-hour sitdown with Stephanopoulos -- including that Trump is morally unfit to be president, that he acts like a mafia boss and that it's not impossible that he had an encounter with prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.

But, it is interesting. After all, Trump spends a decent chunk of time ridiculing the "fake news" media for its collective lack of a sense of humor. To hear Trump tell it, the humorless media doesn't understand that he is joking about all sorts of things and, as a result, treats his jokes like actual policy statements -- proof positive they are total rubes.

Among the misunderstood "jokes" that Trump has told:

For someone who "jokes" a lot -- and quite clearly, based on the 2016 campaign and his rallies as president, likes to make people laugh -- Trump isn't someone who laughs much himself.

As CNN's Greg Krieg wrote in October 2016:

He certainly jokes. He grins, winks, puckers and preens. Trump works to get his crowds to laugh, even when he's promising to make "them" stop laughing at us.

But how about a laugh from him -- from the belly, mouth agape -- a real booming, sustained cackle?

For answers, I turned to the Internet. I typed in "Donald Trump laughing" and this YouTube clip came up immediately.

That's definitely a laugh. A spontaneous burst of mirth. The circumstances? A loud, shrieking noise interrupts a Trump speech in New Hampshire in January 2016. He asks if it was a dog. Someone in the crowd shouts "Hillary!" Trump says "it's Hillary" while laughing.

So, a joke about Hillary Clinton as a dog is the one documented time on the web where Trump laughs. Which, I guess, proves Comey wrong. But doesn't make Trump look good -- or particularly jocular.

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