Meghan McCain on Wednesday questioned former FBI Director James Comey's claims of being apolitical, saying he sounded "like a political commentator."
Comey visited ABC's "The View" to promote his new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, which was officially released Tuesday.
Recent Stories in Politics
The ABC co-host and Comey openly sparred over what McCain viewed as overtly political conduct from Comey during and after his tenure atop the nation's premier law enforcement agency.
"I wanna believe you're not a political person," McCain said. "You're the head of the FBI, but you write in your book how you went to President Obama and were on the verge of tears, saying you were gonna miss him. You also said you were dreading the next four years with Trump."
McCain also castigated Comey for comments the former FBI director made during an interview on ABC's "Start Here" podcast. During the interview, Comey expressed his belief that the Republican Party, of which he was once a member, now "entirely reflects Donald Trump's values, is "transactional," and is only in "service" to the president's ego.
McCain stated the comments struck her as inherently partisan.
"You said very incendiary things about my party this morning," she said.
"The big issue I have is that I don't want to know your politics, and a lot of the things you're saying and doing are highly political," McCain added.
Comey demurred, claiming there wasn't anything political in his statements and he was instead speaking out about values.
"I don't think of it as my politics," Comey said. "I think of it as my values."
McCain asked why, if that was the case, there were so many personal and political references mentioned in his book and subsequent media interviews.
"You talked about on George Stephenopolous how [your wife] was at the Women's March and how she was very sad on election night," McCain said. "Why bring up politics now?"
"You have to understand how this looks to Republicans," McCain added.
Comey attempted to clarify his book is not inherently political.
McCain pushed back, again bringing up his comments during the "Start Here" interview.
"I just don't understand why you're so political. You sound like a political commentator to me," McCain said.
Comey responded that he didn't care who people supported, claiming he was neither a Republican or Democrat, and that his book was meant to ignite a discussion on values in public life.
"I don't care who they support. I hope the conversation will start with values and come to policy second," Comey said. "We're always going to fight about guns, and taxes, and immigration. But all we are in this country is a collection of values, and that's what unites Republicans and Democrats."
"I hope that's not a political statement," he added.
Comey said he didn't vote in the 2016 election and tried not to follow the back and forth between Trump and Hillary Clinton in an effort to prevent it from coloring his official duties at the FBI. He has previously stated he was a Republican most of his adult life but in July 2016, said he was no longer a registered member of the party.