WASHINGTON — At a CNN town hall last night, former FBI director James Comey said that he wouldn't have changed the way he handled the bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's usage of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
"I think I'd likely do it the same way...I in the FBI needed the American public to trust that it wasn't a political fix job," Comey said. "Secretary Clinton had engaged in conduct that was way beyond what the normal carelessness was, so how do you explain to the American people that it's not the ordinary stuff, but it doesn't rise to the level that you would be locked up for."
Comey had been asked what he would do if he could go back in time and reevaluate holding the press conference in July 2016 or rephrase the description of the end of the investigation.
Months before the presidential election, Comey held a press conference to declare that the investigation into the email server was over. Comey called Clinton's actions "extremely careless" but did not recommend criminal charges. James Comey drew criticism from allies of Hillary Clinton for the way that he handled the investigation.
Like what you're reading?: Download the USA TODAY app for more
In response to another question asking whether he'd met Clinton since the election, Comey went on to explain that he had never met Clinton but hoped to talk to her someday to explain his actions.
"Look, I feel badly that she feels like she said in her book, I think, that I 'shived' her," Comey said. "I would hope to give her the chance to understand why we made the decisions we made."
Following the town hall, President Donald Trump tweeted to criticize Comey, writing that "James Comey is a disgrace to the FBI & will go down as the worst Director in its long and once proud history."
James Comey is a disgrace to the FBI & will go down as the worst Director in its long and once proud history. He brought the FBI down, almost all Republicans & Democrats thought he should be FIRED, but the FBI will regain greatness because of the great men & women who work there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2019
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Comey reflects on Clinton investigation: 'I think I'd likely do it the same way'