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Former FBI director James Comey said he was so “ashamed” by the Trump administration’s decision to separate thousands of children from their parents at the border that he and his wife discussed telling people they were Canadian when they arrived in Ireland this week.
Comey made the comments in an interview Friday at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin during a European tour to promote his book “A Higher Loyalty,” The Irish Times reported.
“I am ashamed of the way my country has acted with respect of those children. I am disgusted, I am horrified, I am embarrassed, I’m ashamed,” Comey said.
“My wife and I were joking — not really joking; we wanted to tell the people on the customs line coming here that we were Canadian,” Comey added. “We were joking but it’s funny because it reveals a truth: I’m ashamed.”
Comey said he believed many Americans are as opposed as he is to separating migrant children from their parents, and that the issue appears to have triggered a new level of social outrage and action.
“I am horrified by what happened on our border, but I wonder if something good might not come from that,” he said.
In Berlin, Comey told The Guardian that what happened to the children was a wake-up call for many.
“When you stare at children crying, being taken away from their mothers, it forces your eyes above statutes and numbers to [consider]: What kind of people are we, for God sakes?” Comey said. “That’s the kind of thing that awakens the giant.”
While on tour, Comey has also addressed the Justice Department inspector general’s report on how he handled the FBI investigation into the emails Hillary Clinton kept on her personal server. The report slammed Comey as “insubordinate” for not keeping his superiors informed about his decision to criticize Clinton weeks before the election for her use of personal email.
Comey conceded to the Guardian that he may have been insubordinate, but was convinced that he took the right action.
Ironically, Clinton is also in Dublin this weekend to receive an honorary doctorate from Trinity College. Comey told RTÉ radio that if they happened to meet he would try to convince her that he was not responsible for her loss.
In Dublin, Comey also declared Trump “morally unqualified for office,” the Times reported. He told The Guardian that the president “is doing — and will do — great damage to my country.”
But despite what he sees as dire days in Washington, Comey expressed optimism about the future. Democratic institutions are “really hard to change,” he said in Dublin. “The rule of law is the spine. No president serves long enough to screw that up. Donald Trump, even if he were competent, he could not screw that up.”
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.