Believe it or not, it’s been 11 months since fired FBI director James Comey sat down in front of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions about his interactions with Donald Trump up until he was fired in May of last year. Since the firing, Trump and his team have engaged in what many FBI and government officials have called “character assassination” against the former director, calling him a liar, a leaker and bad at his job. Now, Comey is striking back with his new tell-all book, A Higher Loyalty and oh Lordy, he is not holding back.
The book isn’t available publicly until April 17, but the excerpts circulating from advanced copies are picking up just as much attention as Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury did in January. And with good reason. It’s pretty much the same thing, but infinitely more credible because it’s written by a career public servant, not an arguably shady journalist known for burning sources. In the book, Comey compares Trump to a mob boss, calls him unethical, reveals details about the infamous “loyalty dinner” and on several occasions takes little digs at POTUS’s physical appearance.
Dealing with Trump, Comey writes, gave him “flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob…The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.” https://t.co/sYxdcaBAi8
— Ellen Nakashima (@nakashimae) April 12, 2018
“His face appeared slightly orange with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles,” Comey writes, “and impressively coifed, bright blonde hair, which upon close inspection looked to be all his.” Ouch. He also couldn’t help making a dig about the size of Trump’s hands.
“As he extended his hand, I made a mental note to check its size,” he recalls, “It was smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”
Comey is what Saul Bellow called a “first-class noticer.” He notices “the soft white pouches under” Trump’s “expressionless blue eyes”; coyly observes that Trump's hands are smaller than his own; and says he never saw Trump laugh – a sign of his insecurity https://t.co/LijVINe7km
— Michiko Kakutani (@michikokakutani) April 12, 2018
Comey also said that the president doesn’t seem to understand the role of the FBI and that Trump’s behaviour was possibly not illegal, but was “disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership.” While that takedown may seem lethal, the real kicker is that Comey also says that the Russia “pee tape” might actually be real.
He writes in the book and also told George Stephanopoulos in an ABC interview airing this weekend that Trump was obsessed with the supposed existence of a video recording of himself with prostitutes at a Moscow hotel in 2013. According to a memo compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele during the 2016 election (known as the Trump-Russia Dossier or Steele Dossier), there may be witness accounts and evidence that Trump and multiple prostitutes engaged in sex acts including “golden showers.” Trump denies the accounts but Comey says that he was very interested in having the FBI investigate to prove they were not true.
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing,’” Comey wrote, “It bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true . . . 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.” During the ABC interview, Comey said that he couldn’t be certain that it actually wasn’t true.
James Comey: 'It's Possible' the Trump Pee Tape is Realpic.twitter.com/S15v8A4hNB
— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) April 13, 2018
“I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth,” he told Stephanopoulos, “But I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in 2013. It’s possible. I don’t know.”
If you told us two years ago that in 2018, we would be talking about the president of the United States being peed on by prostitutes, we would have called you crazy. Now, this is just a normal Friday morning on cable news.
While the White House has already launched a campaign to discredit Comey, he is widely respected as a stand-up man who believes in the law and justice and didn’t deserve the Trump wrath in 2017 or now. The president also shot back on Twitter Friday morning, calling Comey a “liar,” a “leaker” and an “untruthful slime ball.”
James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. 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. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
If this is the kind of stuff we’re getting before the book is even released, we can’t possibly imagine what other juicy details Comey’s got up his sleeve.
Comey has made it easier for Trump's camp to pick apart his account of what happened and to portray him as motivated by a big payday. But does anyone really doubt Comey at this point? Trump has publicly said many things that echo what Comey alleges Trump said privately. https://t.co/h8iD7nLEs3
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) April 12, 2018