President Trump tore into James Comey on Friday in a pair of tweets aimed at discrediting Comey’s new book, which details the former FBI director’s interactions with the president before his firing last year.
“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired.
“He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted,” the president continued. “He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst ‘botch jobs’ of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”
Trump’s comments came a day after numerous excerpts from Comey’s upcoming memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” were published online. In them, Comey describes Trump as “untethered to the truth,” likens him to a mob boss, and recounts a meeting with the president in which the former FBI director says Trump asked him to investigate salacious allegations from the so-called dossier to disprove the claims to first lady Melania Trump.
Related: What’s in James Comey’s book?
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ … adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a 1 percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey writes, according to an excerpt published by the New York Post. “He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn’t possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. I said it was up to him.”
“He said, you know, ‘If there’s even a 1 percent chance my wife thinks that’s true, that’s terrible,’” Comey told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in a separate interview, parts of which aired Friday morning. “And I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there’s a 1 percent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?’ I’m a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true. So, what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think there’s only a 99 percent chance you didn’t do that?”
Stephanopoulos asked Comey whether believed Trump’s denial.
“Honestly, I never thoughts these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”
Comey said he first informed Trump about the dossier in a private meeting that followed one where U.S. intelligence officials briefed Trump on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
According to Comey, Trump appeared less concerned by Russia’s attack on the election than how it could undermine his victory.
“President-elect Trump’s first question was to confirm that it had no impact on the election,” Comey said. “And then the conversation, to my surprise, moved into a PR conversation about how the Trump team would position this, and what they could say about this, with us still sitting there.”
Comey added: “That’s just not done. That the intelligence community does intelligence; the White House does PR and spin.”
The former FBI director also said he was struck by what the Trump team didn’t ask.
“No one to my recollection asked, ‘So, what’s coming next from the Russians? How might we stop it?'” Comey said.
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(Cover photo credit: Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: Evan Vucci/AP,donald Trump via Twitter, AP, Flatiron Books, J. Scott Applewhite/AP)