Comey says he would send Clinton letter even if he had known Trump would win election

Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyDOJ attorney looking into whether CIA withheld info during start of Russia probe: NYT Graham requests interviews with DOJ, FBI officials as part of probe into Russia investigation Raising the Barr isn't always the best way to combat corruption MORE says he would still send the letter effectively re-opening an investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe 'Palmetto Promise': South Carolina will decide the race Alabama Senate contender hits Sessions in new ad: 'Hillary still ain't in jail' Worries grow as moderates split Democratic vote MORE's emails 11 days before the 2016 election — even if he had known it would help Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump administration eyes proposal to block jet engine sales to China: report Trump takes track to open Daytona 500 Brazile 'extremely dismayed' by Bloomberg record MORE win the election.

Comey made the remark during an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday, saying a close aide at the FBI has asked the same question.

"I would. I would. In fact, that was a question asked by one of my best people — a deputy general counsel in the FBI who is a very thoughtful and quiet person, who didn't speak a lot. And that — that morning we were making that decision, she asked, 'Should you consider that what you're about do to may help elect Donald Trump president?'"


Comey said he paused and thanked her for the question.

"That's a great question. But the answer is not for a moment, because down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent force in American life. If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we're done. We're no longer that group in America that is apart from the partisans, and that can be trusted. We're just another player in the — in the tribal battle."

Clinton has blamed Comey's decision on her loss of the election. 

The decision was made because Clinton emails had turned up on the laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) as part of a separate investigation. Weiner was married at the time to close Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

“Try to realize that I'm not trying to help a candidate or hurt a candidate,” Comey said. “I’m trying to do the right thing. And you can come up with different conclusions. Reasonable people would've chosen a different door for reasonable reasons. But it's just not fair to say we were doing it for some illegitimate reason.”