(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

FBI Director James Comey tells cybersecurity conference, "You're stuck with me for another 6 1/2 years"

The FBI Director made jokes and avoided addressing controversial issues


Matthew Rozsa
March 8, 2017 9:17PM (UTC)

FBI Director James Comey spoke at a Boston College Cyber-security Conference on Wednesday morning, during which he avoided tough questions and instead made light of the controversies surrounding his tenure.

Comey may have been referring to his role in tilting the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, or he may be referring to his open refutation of Trump's claim to have been wiretapped during that election. Or perhaps he was alluding to something else entirely. During his speech, he compared the threat of cybersecurity breaches to that of terrorism, arguing that "the threats are too fast, too big and too widespread for any of us to address them alone."

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On Tuesday, when performing a ribbon-cutting for the FBI's new Boston-area field office, Comey again demurred when it came to tough questions.

"Right at the beginning . . . I should hit an issue that I know is on the minds of many and that is controversial, so I should speak to it directly," Comey said to the audience. After dramatically pausing, he hit home with his punchline:

"I am a New York Giants fan."

Critics, such as former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have argued that Comey's public announcement that the bureau was revisiting Clinton's email scandal broke a law prohibiting efforts by FBI officials to influence the outcome of an election. After the election, Comey seemed to be in Trump's good graces, earning a hug from the president in January.

Comey was reportedly "incredulous" after Trump claimed that Obama wiretapped his phones. His public rebuke of Trump was unprecedented for a sitting FBI Director.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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