Former FBI Director James Comey blasted the attendees Thursday's Prayer Breakfast for not having the moral courage to stand up and walk out on President Donald Trump in a new Washington Post op-ed.
"The most important thing that happened during President Trump’s post-impeachment rant at the White House didn’t happen at the lectern," Comey wrote. "The important thing was what happened in the audience, where there were plenty of intelligent people of deep commitment to religious principle. They laughed and smiled and clapped as a president of the United States lied, bullied, cursed and belittled the faith of other leaders."
"How it is possible that they didn’t get up and walk out — that they seemed to participate actively in something they should know was deeply wrong?" he asked.
"How could they smile and laugh?" he wondered.
Comey wrote of how he had made that mistake while attending college.
"In the face of the herd, and often to avoid being targeted ourselves, we go quiet and let the group’s brain and soul handle things. Of course, the group has no brain or soul separate from each of ours. But by imagining that the group has these imaginary centers of power, we abdicate responsibility, which allows all groups to be hijacked by the loudest voice, the person who knows how brainless groups really are and uses that to his advantage," he explained.
"Even though he wouldn’t write those sentences, or read them, Trump knows all this. It is his gift, as it has been the gift of demagogues throughout history, to play on human weakness," he continued. "He knows that good, principled people — who would never lie, curse or belittle the faith of another person — will go along, be swept along, at a rally, in a meeting, maybe silent, maybe smiling, maybe on their feet waving a MAGA hat. But they will go along. They will still their inner voices."
"That’s the scary lesson of the East Room rant. There were good people in that White House on Thursday," Comey claimed. "And they went along."
Read the full column.