Woodward on Trump firing Comey: 'This is not yet Watergate'

The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward on Sunday downplayed partisan fury that President Trump’s recent firing of the FBI director is equal to the Watergate scandal, which toppled the Nixon presidency and earned the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize.

“This is not yet Watergate -- not a clear crime,” Woodward said on “Fox News Sunday.” Now that doesn’t mean, you know, we don’t know where this is going. There is a tremendous amount of smoke.”

Trump critics argued the president fired FBI Director James Comey to squash an agency probe into whether the president’s associates or his 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russian to win the White House race.

“There are, you know, 1,000 questions, and they should be answered,” said Woodward, who with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein led The Post’s reporting on Watergate. “But there’s no evidence President Trump at this point will somehow involve in collusion here.”

Still, he called Trump’s actions “strange” and “impulsive as always.”

In 1973, President Richard Nixon, a Republican, ordered the firing of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor probing a break-in at Democratic National Committee offices that eventually led to Nixon’s resignation.

Woodward pointed out Sunday that Nixon’s fired White House counsel John Dean testified for days on Capitol Hill about how the president had “corruptly and illegally led the obstruction of justice.”

“You have nothing comparable,” Woodward said.