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Comey: 'Republican Party has to be burned to the ground'

Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyWray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report MORE said in an interview published Thursday that the Republican Party must “be burned to the ground” before it can rebuild now that former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE's term in the Oval Office has ended. 

Comey told Australia’s ABC “7.30” news program that the GOP “doesn't stand for anything that is valuable to our country.” 

“It doesn't stand for anything, that is other than a cult of personality around a man who is a demagogue and a liar,” he added. 

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The longtime Republican, who now describes himself as an independent, told the news outlet that “the Republican Party has to be burned to the ground, in some form or fashion." 

"If it's going to survive, and we need two healthy parties to have a healthy democracy, it has to be rebuilt in some way,” he added. "I think you may see principled Republicans splitting off or finding a way to push the Trumpers off, so they can reconstitute the Republican Party on a set of real values."

Comey told The Guardian earlier this week that the party's decline began well before Trump with Tea Party figures such as former Speaker Newt GingrichNewton (Newt) Leroy GingrichMORE (R-Ga.) and former Alaska  Gov. Sarah Palin (R). 

“The Republican Party needs to be burned down or changed,” Comey told the British outlet. “Something is shifting and I’m hoping it’s the fault breaking apart, a break between the Trumpists and those people who want to try and build a responsible conservative party, because everybody should know that we need one. 

“Who would want to be part of an organization that at its core is built on lies and racism and know-nothingism? It’s just not a healthy political organization.”

Comey, who led the FBI from 2013 until Trump fired him in 2017, became a vocal critic of the now-former president and has repeatedly called on Republicans to move on from him. 

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As many called for Trump to face retribution for his role in the deadly riot by his supporters at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, Comey said in an interview on “Today” last week that while he believes it is “important” for Trump to be impeached, the worst punishment would be to ignore him completely once he leaves office. 

I still think it would be better for this country if we move past a fallen and corrupt president, and turned off the television lights on him, which in some ways, would be the greatest punishment he could imagine,” Comey said. 

The House last week voted to impeach Trump, charging him with inciting the violence at the Capitol with his repeated unproven claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him through widespread voter fraud. 

Trump now faces an impending Senate impeachment trial, even as President Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday. 

In an excerpt from Comey’s new book released this month, the former federal investigator argued that Trump should not be prosecuted after leaving the White House, as “the mission of the next attorney general must be fostering the trust of the American people.”