“Speak or conceal — both terrible options,” he writes in the book, which is coming out Tuesday. “No matter what we found, that act of concealment would be catastrophic to the integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice. Put that way, the choice between a ‘really bad’ option and a ‘catastrophic’ option was not that hard a call. We had to tell Congress that things had changed.”
Clinton’s most-fervent supporters disagree, to say the least.
Some, like Philippe Reines, a longtime and trusted Clinton confidant, are eager to dig through the pages of Comey’s book, if only to dissect it, point by point, looking for inconsistencies or misstatements.
“It would be rare for someone’s book to say, ‘This is how I screwed up,”’ Reines said. “But his answers to some really fundamental stuff are just at the very best incomplete. At the worst, they are just flat-out unacceptable.”
Like the rest of his former campaign colleagues, Reines is not unaware that Comey is assailing the president’s moral character, his inability to tell the truth and his actions that could amount to obstruction of justice. And for the record, Reines does not disagree with any of it.
“I bought the book. I can’t wait for it to come from Amazon tomorrow. I do believe Trump is orange and wears tanning glasses,” he said. But that doesn’t take away, he said, from the “acute frustration with Jim Comey and wanting to hold him to an accountable standard.”
Trump has seized on that frustration to rant about Comey, tapping into — and twisting — the Democratic angst.
In a tweet Monday morning, the president claimed that Comey had drafted a memo exonerating Clinton “long before” the email investigation was over. The president referenced Comey’s handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
“Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator
G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers,” Trump wrote. “Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!”
Clinton, in part, blames Comey’s handling of the email case for her not winning the presidency.
Trump’s accusations about Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation are different from the ones lodged by her former supporters. But together, Trump and Clinton’s advisers are diverting the conversation away from Comey’s allegations against the president.