New York: US President declared James Comey “a weak and untruthful slime ball” in response to a new book, in which the former director of the FBI caricatures him as a mafia don, and claimed: “It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”
“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR,” the president tweeted. “Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did – until he was, in fact, fired.”
As rage poured forth from the White House an elaborate rollout campaign for Comey’s memoir pressed on, with the release of a television clip on Friday in which Comey recounted having to brief the president on an intelligence report alleging that Trump had consorted with prostitutes in Moscow.
The president’s reaction, according to Comey: “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?”
Scenes such as those fill A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian on Thursday. The book goes on sale on Tuesday, and Comey’s first television interview, with ABC News, is to be broadcast on Sunday, with a national author tour to follow.
Judging by Trump’s obliging Twitter outburst on Friday morning – and his even angrier tweet that afternoon cliaming “No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!” – the book seems likely to make good on Comey’s desire for a showdown with the president, a clash with few precedents and unknowably wide implications.
Comey and Trump will not be the only participants. “Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey,” tweeted John Brennan, a former CIA director, in reply to Trump’s post about the ex-FBI chief. The word means government by the worst people.
On the other side, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told her regular press briefing: “The American people see right through the blatant lies of a self-admitted leaker.”
She added: “Comey will be forever known as a disgraced partisan hack. One of the president’s greatest achievements will go down as firing James Comey”