Former United States FBI director James Comey speaks at the Toronto conference Icons & Leaders. Comey was dismissed from his position on May 9th, 2017 by President Donald Trump. Many believe that Comey’s judgment to publicize Hillary Clinton’s email controversy days before the 2016 U.S elections swayed public opinion. View the Vibe covers his interview with Canadian CEO of Chapters, Heather Reisman, on his decision and career.
Comey opens the talk by addressing what he feels is America’s biggest problem. The attack on pillars of democracy. To him, this includes the press and institutions like the one he formerly lead, the Federal Bureau. His decision to inform the public of Hillary’s email, as he says, “was a matter of telling the public now about their investigation, which could be problematic, or let them find out later, which could be catastrophic.” Although the emails proved to be careless and nothing further, Comey still believes it was mandatory to inform Americans of what was going on.
He tells Reisman that an ethical leader is one who leads with integrity. This is what he chose to do when making that decision. He continues on to say that “Leaders are confident enough to be humble and listen. The only way to hear the truth is to be quiet. It’s only people who are insecure that prefer to live in the noise.”
When asked if he would do anything differently, Comey says no. He is confident that taking action was the best decision he could have made given the circumstances. He also compared his position with the FBI under Donald Trump’s presidency similar to his time as a prosecutor for Southern New York. “It felt like I was constantly being pushed away and coming back to being confronted with a man’s whose reference point was only internal. It was all about me, me, me.” Comey never considered walking away from his job and responsibilities although he described his relationship with Trump as challenging.