Pollster's focus group slams Comey as 'petty' and 'manipulative'

Pollster's focus group slams Comey as 'petty' and 'manipulative'
© Greg Nash

A focus group told conservative pollster Frank Luntz that former FBI director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyNYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE came across as "manipulative" and "petty" during a recent interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

One member of the focus group, which was featured on ABC's "Nightline" on Wednesday night, said Comey "looked like a complete moron" during the interview.

"Probably his weakest moment was when he didn't know where he was on election night. That some of the things he couldn't answer, as FBI director he should have been able to answer. That was a negative," Luntz told "Nightline."


"'I don't remember. I didn't vote.' I thought he looked like a complete moron," one focus group member told Luntz. 

Comey was also scolded for commenting on President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE's appearance, including by mocking the president's height, skin color and hands.

"Never talk about someone's appearance. No matter how mad you are about them, it never works out well for you," Luntz said.

The group also agreed unanimously that while Trump should not be impeached, he should not have fired Comey last year.

The firing prompted the naming of a special counsel's office headed up by former FBI Director Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE

"That's something the president ought to pay attention to. They thought it was the wrong decision, and they feel that Trump is responsible for the consequences," Luntz said.

ABC assembled the focus group of 15 people, which included both Republicans and Democrats.

Comey has been on a media blitz to promote his new book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership," which hit bookstores on Tuesday. He’s done interviews with ABC's "The View," NBC's "Today" show and CBS's "Late Night with Stephen Colbert."

CNN's Jake Tapper, Fox's Bret Baier, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and PBS's Betsy Woodruff are also scheduled to sit down with Comey in the coming days.

-- Updated at 1:32 p.m.