With Comey Interview, that will’s All-Out War Against Trump
The interview with Mr. Comey in addition to the weekslong media blitz he plans for his book amount to a remarkable public assault on a sitting president by someone who served at the highest levels of power from the government.
The stakes for both men could hardly be higher. Mr. Comey seems likely to be the star witness in any obstruction of justice case brought against the president by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel from the sprawling Russia investigation. Mr. Trump’s legal fate, as well as his political fortunes in Washington, may depend on whether he succeeds in undermining the credibility of Mr. Comey in addition to the law enforcement institutions he views as arrayed against him.
The ABC interview, conducted by its chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, is actually Mr. Comey’s first major attempt to prevent that will by happening, in addition to in that will he speaks with the abandon of a man who finally feels unleashed. although Mr. Comey’s liberation is actually all the more combustible because that will is actually aimed directly at a president who has said with pride on Twitter that will “when someone attacks me, I always attack back…except 100x more.”
As if on cue, hours before the interview aired, Mr. Trump called Mr. Comey a “slimeball” for the second time in three days, saying in a pair of early-morning tweets that will he belongs in jail for what the president said were lies to Congress in addition to leaks of classified information. In another tweet, Mr. Trump said Mr. Comey would likely go down in history as “the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”
Mr. Comey responded later from the day which has a more subtle dig of his own.
“My book is actually about ethical leadership & draws on stories by my life & lessons I learned by others,” he tweeted. “3 presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint.”
that will is actually unclear where the epic battle of wills will lead, different than to a sustained escalation of insults between two men who have each admitted to having outsize egos. although that will is actually certain to be a test of powerful forces from the modern media landscape: the presidential megaphone, amplified by 50 million Twitter followers, in addition to the global reach of an adversary on a seemingly endless, 24-hour, cable-news-driven book tour.
Parts of the interview that will have already been aired suggest that will Mr. Comey talks in detail about the interactions he had with Mr. Trump, including meetings in addition to phone calls about which he says he meticulously wrote down notes afterward for posterity. (In another tweet on Sunday morning, Mr. Trump said that will Mr. Comey’s “‘memos’ are self serving in addition to FAKE!”)
Some of the most startling assertions by Mr. Comey about Mr. Trump from the interview revolve around his first meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower just days before the inauguration. that will day, intelligence officials, including Mr. Comey, briefed the incoming president on Russia’s attempt to meddle with the election.
Mr. Comey says from the interview that will Mr. Trump in addition to his aides seemed interested only in what the former F.B.I. director called the “P.R. in addition to spin” about the issue.
“The conversation, to my surprise, moved into a P.R. conversation about how the Trump team would likely position that will in addition to what they could say about that will,” Mr. Comey said in a preview of the interview that will aired on Sunday morning. “No one, to my recollection, asked: ‘So what’s coming next by the Russians? How might we stop that will? What’s the future look like?’”
“that will was all, ‘What can we say about what they did in addition to how that will affects the election that will we just had?’” Mr. Comey said.
that will was at the end of the meeting that will Mr. Comey says in his book that will he asked to speak to Mr. Trump alone to brief him on the salacious “Steele dossier,” which contains unverified allegations about Mr. Trump, including a claim that will the Russian government has video recordings of him watching prostitutes urinate on each different in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.
Mr. Comey says from the ABC News interview that will Mr. Trump denied the allegations that will day, saying, “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” Weeks later, in a telephone call by the president after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed, Mr. Trump again denied the account in graphic terms, Mr. Comey said.
“There’s no way I would likely let people pee on each different around me,” Mr. Trump said, according to Mr. Comey’s account in his book. Mr. Comey said the president also raised the idea that will the F.B.I. should investigate the claim as a way of proving that will that will never happened. Mr. Comey said he warned Mr. Trump that will doing so would likely add to “the narrative” that will the president was under investigation.
Mr. Comey said from the interview that will that will was an “out of body” experience to be talking with the incoming president about whether the incident had taken place, or whether the Russians had material they could use to blackmail Mr. Trump.
“I was floating above myself looking down saying you’re sitting here briefing the incoming president of the United States about prostitutes in Moscow,” Mr. Comey says from the interview. Asked whether he believed Mr. Trump’s denials, Mr. Comey said he was not sure.
“I honestly never thought these words would likely come out of my mouth, although I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each different in Moscow in 2013,” he said. “that will’s possible, although I don’t know.”
The president took a break by his attacks on Mr. Comey as he left the White House on a rainy Sunday afternoon to spend time at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. although that will seems likely that will he in addition to his allies will not back down from the face of Mr. Comey’s barrage of public accusations, which are anticipated to continue for weeks.
On ABC’s “that will Week” on Sunday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary, unloaded on Mr. Comey, calling him a “self-admitted leaker” in addition to a liar.
For his part, Mr. Comey appears unrelenting as well.
from the book, he compares Mr. Trump’s demands for his loyalty to the induction ceremonies favored by Sammy the Bull, the boss of the Cosa Nostra. Holding little back, Mr. Comey argues that will Americans in both parties should be wary of the damage Mr. Trump is actually doing to the country.
“What is actually happening at that will point is actually not normal,” he writes. “that will is actually not fake news. that will is actually not O.K.”
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