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.
Writes Comey: “This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty.”
“Decades before he led the F.B.I.’s investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Comey was a career prosecutor who helped dismantle the Gambino crime family; and he doesn’t hesitate in these pages to draw a direct analogy between the Mafia bosses he helped pack off to prison years ago and the current occupant of the Oval Office.”
“The central themes that Comey returns to throughout this impassioned book are the toxic consequences of lying; and the corrosive effects of choosing loyalty to an individual over truth and the rule of law.”
“Within minutes of his firing in May, former FBI director James Comey received a call from John Kelly, then the head of the Department of Homeland Security and now the White House chief of staff, the Daily Beast reports.
“According to Comey’s account, which is set to appear in his highly-anticipated forthcoming memoir, Kelly was ’emotional’ over the manner in which Comey was let go… Kelly, Comey recalls, said he was ‘sick’ about the situation and ‘intended to quit’ in protest. Kelly ‘said he didn’t want to work for dishonorable people,’ referring specifically to President Trump, who appeared to be upset at the FBI’s persistent investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russian officials.”
“According to sources, Comey writes in his book that he encouraged Kelly to remain in his post, saying ‘this president,’ more than his predecessors, needed people of principle and integrity around him.”
A source present at the taping told Axios that James Comey’s interview with George Stephanopoulos airing on Sunday at 10 p.m. is “going to shock the president and his team.”
“The Comey interview left people in the room stunned — he told George things that he’s never said before… If anyone wonders if Comey will go there, he goes there.”
“Former FBI director James Comey is about to return to the national spotlight with the release of his memoir next week — but the White House is doing little to prepare for the onslaught,” Politico reports.
“These officials said it’s understood within the West Wing that laying out an advance media strategy is largely a futile exercise since President Trump could blow up any prepared talking points with a single tweet.”
“Comey, who is also taping an audio version, will make promotional appearances on ABC and CBS and launch a 10-city tour. In five of those cities, Comey is giving lectures and commanding Broadway-like prices.”
“Tickets for Comey’s appearance at Town Hall on April 19 (two days after the book’s publication) are going for as much as $850 on StubHub — $95 is the top face value.”
Mike Allen: “Comey has been quiet for nearly a year — fired by President Trump on May 9, precipitating the appointment of special counsel Bob Mueller eight days later. He has heard a lot of lies and misstatements about the FBI that he intends to correct. He didn’t want to be in this position, but is embracing it.”
“There’ll be more announcements about his book tour soon, but he’s eager to go to where his critics are and take them on.”
His book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, is out April 17.
ABC News has landed one of the most sought-after interviews of the year: former FBI Director James Comey, BuzzFeed News reports.
“Comey, who was fired by President Trump in May, will sit down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in mid-April ahead of the release of his forthcoming book, according to people familiar with the matter.”
After President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey he described the former director a “a showboat” and “a grandstander” and claimed that the FBI “has been in turmoil.” However, Lawfare got more than 100 pages of leadership communications to staff dealing with the firing which tell a very different story.
“This material tells a dramatic story about the FBI’s reaction to the Comey firing—but it is neither a story of gratitude to the president nor a story of an organization in turmoil relieved by a much-needed leadership transition… the amount of warmth in the emails, both about Comey and for their people, is atypical of all-staff communications. These leaders operate at the highest level of the FBI; in a chain-of-command organization, they aren’t particularly accessible figures. But these emails, which were sent to entire divisions or field offices, are personal and intimate. Without overstating the matter or getting maudlin about it, it’s safe to say that these messages show leaders who are shaken and concerned. There is emotion in their voices and a deep concern for their people.”