The character education approach used at Hyde School in Bath has truth as its backbone.

Faculty tell students and parents, “the truth will set you free, but first might make you miserable,” and “when in doubt, bet on the truth; when in more doubt, bet on more truth.”

On Sunday night, former FBI Director James Comey was betting on the truth to set him free in his tell-all interview with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News show, "20/20."

Whether Comey should or shouldn’t have gone on television to discuss his firing is the debate.

His detractors say he is doing it for money and they echo the nicknames President Trump has been tweeting for the last year. They started May 10, 2017, with Trump telling Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job," adding, “I had faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

With hindsight one wonders if our president might have misread the implications of firing Comey; it led to the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller, who continues to put heat on Trump and many in his administration.

In addition to “crazy nut job,” Trump called Comey “showboat,” “very unpopular,” “leaker,” “coward,” a “disaster” and coined nicknames for him of “leakin’ James Comey,” “sanctimonious James Comey,” “lying James Comey,” and has recently upped the level of insult to include “untruthful slime ball” and “slippery James Comey.”

For his part, Comey, in his interview, likened Trump to a “mob boss” who was “unfit (morally) to be president,” but stayed away from directly calling him a liar or suggesting the Russians had inside information on him that might damage our country’s security.

Comey found it hard to keep completely on the high road, but tried to stay out of the gutter, relying on innuendo instead of outright name-calling.

It is hard, if not impossible, to get into Comey’s head on his motivations for writing a book and going on national television to talk about his firing and his feelings about Donald Trump, but it is the “why” that is captivating many.

Detractors say this is a money grab, an ego trip and a way to revive his damaged reputation.

Comey and his supporters suggest otherwise; they say it is to set the record straight, and because he wanted to give the public his inside reasoning for why he did what he did during the campaign and email investigations of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and to defend the complaint that Loretta Lynch was not impartial. Comey was like the manager of a sports team, explaining why he took out his starting pitcher or why he pinch-hit in a certain situation.

There were lots of juicy details for viewers to mull over: the alleged improprieties in the Moscow hotel among them. Comey said Trump’s original story seemed plausible, but then his constantly circling back to it, unasked, suggested otherwise (protesting too much), making Comey ponder. “When someone constantly brings something up to deny when you’re not asking about it, that’s an interesting fact.”

Whether Comey helped defeat Clinton was one of Stephanopoulos’s questions. Comey said his job was to make decisions not based on polls, and with no regard for politics. He hoped she would read his book so she could see the email investigation from his point of view.

He commented that Trump’s recent decision to pardon Scooter Libby had no basis in common sense; “There is a reason that George W. Bush refused to pardon Libby,” he said. “He examined the case really closely.”

Like him or not, was this a smart thing for Comey to do? During the campaign and then in the Trump presidency, Comey was in one no-win situation after another. From improper one-on-one dinners and meetings with Trump (how do you say no to your president?) to uncomfortable questions about loyalty and strong innuendos from your boss suggesting you make the Russia investigation go away while asking for an easing up on Michael Flynn because he is a good and loyal guy, this made for some hard sledding.

It felt like Comey tried to navigate using his moral compass as his guide. He said he was trying to honor the integrity of the FBI, while maneuvering difficult issues.

He didn’t vote in the election because he was too distraught about all that had happened.

When Comey talks about Trump’s insistence on loyalty; each person will hear something a little different. In the end, this comes down to who you believe.

Part of the truth formula: common sense and plausibility — using these tools, each of us will decide who tells the truth and who lies.

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

— Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel laureate (1879-1955)