SAN FRANCISCO - Former FBI Director James Comey was in San Francisco Monday night as part of his national book tour. He's generated controversy with his views about Trump, but he spoke to a largely friendly audience at the Curran Theater.
People paid anywhere from $45 to $85 per ticket. Press was not allowed inside. The event lasted about an hour. Shortly after 8 p.m. Comey came out and left in an SUV.
"He's clearly not a fan of Trump. Everyone got a book. He talked about how he doesn't view him as a value-based leader," said Eric Siegal, a Democrat from Livermore.
"He talks about humility and humor especially being able to poke fun at oneself and he's able to do that a lot which makes him authentic and relatable," said Anita Carey from San Jose.
More than 1,600 people attended the event.
Comey's book, " A Higher Loyalty" has grabbed national headlines for his views on President Donald Trump. His audience included both Democrats and Republicans.
"Even though I was upset about the email thing with Hillary, I still think he did it with
his integrity," said Leslie Trook, a San Francisco Democrat.
"He's the guy everyone wants to vilify from both sides," said Kevin Jensen, a San Jose Republican.
He says he's a retired captain with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department and that he's met Comey several times. "I've seen him up close. He's never used notes. He's always talked to us very transparently," said Jensen.
Former President Barack Obama appointed Comey as director of the FBI and he served from 2013 to 2017 until President Trump fired Comey last May.
Comey has made the rounds on television promoting his book in addition to his personal appearances. He has been highly critical of the president as he compares him to other leaders . .
"They make the hardest decisions by touching religious tradition or philosophy or logic, history or tradition. I never saw any of that with Donald Trump," said Comey during a previous interview. . .
Some says they attended the event at the Curran Theater because they want to find out more about how the U.S government works from an insider.
"I'm not going to say if he was right or wrong. I say due to his leadership and capabilities, He made the best decisions he had at the time," said Wayne Unger, a San Francisco Democrat.
"He's very positive. He's got some very good ideas about how the country is going to survive this and probably be better," said Elaine Bitzel, a San Francisco Democrat. .
People tell KTVU Comey spoke about the three presidents he served: Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump. He answered some written questions towards the end of the event.
The next stop for Comey on his book tour is scheduled for Boston on Sunday.