Trump’s tirade over FBI memoir
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has launched a verbal tirade against James Comey after the former FBI director described him as an unethical liar in an explosive new memoir.
The president fired Mr Comey (pictured) last May while his agency was investigating potential collusion between Mr Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 US election in a move that led the Justice Department to appoint Special Counsel Robert Mueller to take over a probe that has hung over his presidency.
“This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values,” Mr Comey said in the book due out on Tuesday.
Mr Trump has often publicly criticised Mr Comey since firing him, but escalated his attacks in response to the book.
“It was my great honour to fire James Comey!” Mr Trump said in one of a series of scorching Twitter messages, adding that Mr Comey – now one of the Republican president’s fiercest critics – had been a terrible FBI director.
The tirade followed news accounts of Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, which paints a deeply unflattering picture of Mr Trump.
It compares him to a mob boss who stresses personal loyalty over the law and has little regard for morality or truth.
Mr Mueller is looking into whether Trump has sought to obstruct the Russia probe, and Comey could be a key witness on that front.
Mr Comey last year accused Mr Trump of pressuring him to pledge loyalty and end a probe involving former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Moscow. “James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR,” Mr Trump wrote.
Mr Trump accused Comey of lying to Congress, but did not specify who was he was referring to, and said the former FBI chief should be prosecuted for leaking classified information.
Mr Trump has denied any collusion and has called Mr Mueller’s probe a witch hunt.
Mr Comey is conducting a series of media interviews before the book’s official release. His first public comments since he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last June, when he accused Mr Trump of firing him to undermine the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Just days after he fired Mr Comey, the president said he did it because of “this Russia thing.”