Trump un­loads on Comey ahead of ex-FBI di­rec­tor’s in­ter­view

The Sault Star - - WORLD NEWS - CATHER­INE LUCEY

WASHINGTON — U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump took to Twit­ter on Sun­day to un­load on James Comey over his forth­com­ing mem­oir, call­ing him “slip­pery,” sug­gest­ing he should be in jail and la­belling him “the WORST FBI Di­rec­tor in history, by far!”

Trump fired off a se­ries of tweets ahead of Comey’s first in­ter­view on the book, which of­fers his ver­sion of the events sur­round­ing his fir­ing as FBI di­rec­tor by Trump and the in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Rus­sian elec­tion med­dling and Hil­lary Clin­ton’s email prac­tices. The in­ter­view will air Sun­day night on ABC.

In an ex­cerpt shown Satur­day, Comey said his be­lief that Clin­ton would beat Trump in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion was a fac­tor in his de­ci­sion to dis­close the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her emails. Trump seized on that, say­ing Comey “was mak­ing de­ci­sions based on the fact that he thought she was go­ing to win, and he wanted a job. Slime­ball!”

Comey’s dis­clo­sure shortly be­fore the elec­tion that the FBI had re­opened its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her email use en­raged Democrats. Af­ter Clin­ton’s loss, many Democrats blamed Comey, and Clin­ton her­self has said it hurt her elec­tion prospects.

Trump on Sun­day pushed back again against Comey’s claims that Trump sought his loy­alty, say­ing, “I hardly even knew this guy. Just an­other of his many lies.” He ques­tioned Comey’s in­tel­li­gence and place in history, writ­ing, “Slip­pery James Comey, a man who al­ways ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Di­rec­tor in history, by far!”

He also sug­gested Comey should be im­pris­oned, say­ing, “how come he gave up Clas­si­fied In­for­ma­tion (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail).” There is no in­di­ca­tion Comey is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for do­ing ei­ther.

Asked if the pres­i­dent wanted the Jus­tice Depart­ment to in­ves­ti­gate Comey, White House spokes­woman Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said Sun­day on ABC’s This Week that she was not aware of a spe­cific re­quest. But, she said, “if they feel there was any wrong­do­ing, they should cer­tainly look into that just as they do on a num­ber of other topics.”

Comey is em­bark­ing on a pub­lic roll­out of his book, A Higher Loy­alty, which comes out Tues­day. In the book, Comey com­pares Trump to a mafia don and calls his lead­er­ship of the coun­try “ego driven and about per­sonal loy­alty.”

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, set­ting off a scram­ble at the Jus­tice Depart­ment that led to the ap­point­ment of Robert Mueller as spe­cial coun­sel over­see­ing the Rus­sia in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Mueller’s probe has ex­panded to in­clude whether Trump ob­structed jus­tice by fir­ing Comey.

Trump has said he fired Comey be­cause of his han­dling of the FBI’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Clin­ton’s email prac­tices. Trump used the in­ves­ti­ga­tion as a cud­gel in the cam­paign and re­peat­edly said Clin­ton should be jailed for us­ing a per­sonal email sys­tem while serv­ing as sec­re­tary of state. Democrats, on the other hand, have ac­cused Comey of politi­ciz­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In the in­ter­view ex­cerpt re­leased Satur­day, Comey said he did not re­mem­ber “con­sciously think­ing” about the elec­tion re­sults as he de­cided to dis­close that the FBI had re­opened its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into can­di­date Clin­ton’s email use. But, he ac­knowl­edged, “I was oper­at­ing in a world where Hil­lary Clin­ton was go­ing to beat Don­ald Trump, and so I’m sure that it was a fac­tor.”

BEBETO MATTHEWS/AP

In his book, James Comey com­pares U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to a mob boss de­mand­ing loy­alty, sug­gests he’s un­fit to lead and mocks the pres­i­dent’s ap­pear­ance.

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