Writes McCain: “I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier.’ I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”
“Fired FBI Director James Comey has retained former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as one of his personal attorneys, bringing in a heavy-hitting former prosecutor, close friend and longtime colleague to help him navigate his dramatic role as a potential witness in the investigation of President Trump’s campaign and potential obstruction of justice,” TPM reports.
Asha Rangappa: “Pat Fitzgerald was also the special counsel appointed by Comey who investigated and charged Scooter Libby. This is going to be goooood.”
Jonathan Chait: “Former FBI Director James Comey has been telling the world about his harrowing encounters with President Trump, who repeatedly demanded his personal loyalty, implored him to stop investigating Michael Flynn, and then dispatched his personal bodyguard to fire him when he failed to comply. But what if we have the story backwards? What if Trump, an innocent family business operator, naïve to the ways of Washington, had been accosted by a scheming, predatory deep state operator? And what if Comey’s firing was a defensive measure against his nefarious trap? This is the scenario Trump’s defenders now envision, and have laid out in columns by The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway and the Washington Examiner’s Byron York.”
“Hemingway’s theory is that CNN had the Steele dossier, and could not cover it unless it had a news hook to do so. Comey’s meeting was designed to be the hook. He would tell Trump about the dossier, and then leak the fact that he told Trump to the news media, which ‘provided them the very news hook they sought and needed’ to report on the dossier.”
“York’s analysis is different than Hemmingway’s, but possibly even less plausible. York argues that Trump’s request for loyalty was not an attempt to suborn the FBI into an instrument of his personal control, but instead a defensive and completely reasonable response to what looked like Comey blackmailing him.”
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) slammed former FBI Director James Comey for releasing his memoir during the ongoing Russia probe, saying she worries the book could interfere with the investigations, NBC News reports.
Said Collins: “I cannot imagine why an FBI director would seek to essentially cash in on a book when the investigation is very much alive. He should have waited to do his memoir.”
“For days, top Republicans in Congress demanded the release of James Comey’s memos about President Trump, threatening Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, with a subpoena if he failed to share the highly anticipated documents written by the former FBI director,” the New York Times reports.
“But if Mr. Trump and his allies believed that Mr. Rosenstein’s refusal would deliver a pretext to call for his firing, as Democrats asserted, his decision to quickly release all the memos late Thursday night foiled that plan. The memos leaked to reporters hours after being delivered to lawmakers in both parties.”
“And the seven memos, in which Mr. Comey methodically documented his interactions with the president in real time, did little to help Republicans undermine Mr. Comey’s credibility or expose contradictions with his best-selling, tell-all book. Taken together, the 15 pages of detailed notes largely back up the stories that Mr. Comey told in congressional testimony, in the pages of his memoir, A Higher Loyalty, and during numerous television and radio interviews.”
“At least two of the memos that former FBI Director James Comey gave to a friend outside of the government contained information that officials now consider classified,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Of those two memos, Mr. Comey himself redacted elements of one that he knew to be classified to protect secrets before he handed the documents over to his friend. He determined at the time that another memo contained no classified information, but after he left the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bureau officials upgraded it to ‘confidential,’ the lowest level of classification.”
President Trump contradicted his own comments that the Russia investigation was a key reason he fired FBI director James Comey on Twitter:
Slippery James Comey, the worst FBI Director in history, was not fired because of the phony Russia investigation where, by the way, there was NO COLLUSION (except by the Dems)!
As Trump told NBC News: “In fact, when I decided to just do it I said to myself, ‘you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.'”
“The president of the United States just tweeted that a private citizen should be jailed. And I think the reaction of most of us was: ‘Meh, it’s another one of those things.’ This is not normal. This is not OK. There is a danger that we will become numb to it and we will stop noticing the threats to our norms.”
— Former FBI Director James Comey, in an interview with NPR.
Jonathan Swan: “The main game for Trump — and the reason his agitation levels went through the roof the last two weeks — is what happened to Michael Cohen. Trump allies are exponentially more worried about the New York feds’ probe and the prospect of investigators poring over Trump’s business dealings than they are anything Comey is saying.”
From former FBI Director James Comey’s interview on ABC News.
STEPHANOPOULOS: “That’s stunning. You can’t say for certain that the president of the United States is not compromised by the Russians?”
COMEY: “It is stunning and I wish I wasn’t saying it, but it’s just — it’s the truth. I cannot say that. It always struck me and still strikes me as unlikely, and I woulda been able to say with high confidence about any other president I dealt with, but I can’t. It’s possible.”
Former FBI Director James Comey finally broke his silence with an extensive interview on ABC News.
A key Comey quote: “A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds.”
The Washington Post reports Comey also said that Trump was “morally unfit to be president,” and that it was “possible” that the Russians had material that could be used to blackmail him.
The New York Times has annotated excerpts.
Comey’s much-anticipated book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, is out on Tuesday.
Former FBI Director James Comey will be interviewed on ABC News tonight at 10 p.m. ET.
Mike Allen: “Sources familiar with the Comey interview say ABC has held back some of his strongest news-making bites. A source present at the taping said Comey’s comments will ‘shock the president and his team’ and ‘add more meat to the charges swirling around Trump.'”
“I have never met Hillary Clinton, although I tried. When I became the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in January 2002, I asked my assistant to arrange an introduction to the state’s junior senator. After a number of attempts and multiple messages with Clinton’s office, we gave up. It wasn’t a big deal at the time, but I found it odd. To this day, I don’t know why the meeting never happened.”
— Former FBI Director James Comey, writing in A Higher Loyalty.
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President Trump attacked former FBI Director James Comey on Twitter:
James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!
Comey’s memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, is out next week.