Trump’s tirade over FBI mem­oir

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - WORLD -

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.”

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