Comey paints unsparing portrait of Trump in devastating tell-all book

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SueEllenRules!, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. SueEllenRules!

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    Comey paints unsparing portrait of Trump in devastating tell-all book
    It is nothing less than the most devastating, contemporaneous takedown of a sitting president in modern history.

    The James Comey storm, brewing menacingly on the horizon for months, slammed into the White House just after 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, as the first leaks of the fired FBI director's explosive new book started gushing out.

    Proving that revenge is a dish best served cold, Comey waited 11 months to exact his retribution for his dismissal by President Donald Trump last May. When it came it was unsparing, richly detailed and mortifying for the President.

    He painted Trump as a relentless liar who is obsessively unethical, devoid of humanity and a slave to his ego, who is clueless about his job and unconcerned about a Russian assault on American democracy.

    Jabbing the President in a strikingly personal way, Comey noted the size of Trump's hands, said his skin looked orange and described white rings around his eyes from tanning goggles.

    But Comey isn't just out to hurt Trump's feelings. He is on a more profound mission: His book is a parable about the threat from a brazen President who demands a warped concept of loyalty and has only disdain for the rule of law.

    "Hell hath no fury like an FBI director scorned," former Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore said on CNN.

    CNN obtained a copy of the book and corroborated news reports about Comey's highly anticipated recounting of his time in the Trump administration.

    In one staggering part of the book, "A Higher Loyalty," Comey said dealing with Trump reminded him of his days prosecuting Mafia kingpins with their "silent circle of assent."

    "The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth."

    "What is happening now is not normal. ... It is not fake news. It is not okay," he writes, sketching a brutal, feudal world that seems incompatible with traditional perceptions of the presidency.

    All presidents are vulnerable to tell-alls by disgruntled former insiders that expose the enmities, gaffes and scandals of their West Wings. Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton all experienced indictments by disillusioned staffers.

    Yet no commander in chief in modern memory has had to endure the humiliation heaped on Trump by Comey, who argues that the President saw the FBI as a personal investigative service bound to do his bidding.

    How will Trump react?

    The most immediate question now is how Trump, who typically rages over attacks on his image and lives a creed of swift retaliation, will respond to the former FBI director's portrayal of his "forest fire" of a presidency.

    Besieged by scandals, fast-worsening legal entanglements and wrestling with a life and death decision on whether to launch military action in Syria, Trump is humiliated and under indescribable political pressure that may not be conducive to wise decision-making and seems sure to boil over on Twitter.

    In a tsunami of bad news for the President just on Thursday, it was reported that the National Enquirer's parent company had paid off a doorman at one of his properties to keep quiet a rumor that the President had sired an illegitimate child.

    CNN has confirmed neither the story nor the rumor, but if true it would fit into a pattern of payoffs to people alleging transgressions in Trump's private life.

    In yet another stunner, sources familiar with the matter said recordings that Trump attorney Michael Cohen often made of his telephone conversations likely have been scooped up in the FBI raid Monday on attorney Cohen's apartment, office and hotel room.

    CNN's Jim Acosta reported Thursday that the President had only just begun to cool off after the raid, which partly resulted from a referral to New York prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller.

    But wall-to-wall news coverage of the leaks was likely to send Trump up the wall all over again, since there are few people he disdains more than Comey.

    In an NBC interview last May, Trump blasted the former FBI chief as a "showboat" and a "grandstander." As recently as Monday the President called Comey a liar and said he had been right to sack him. Trump has made no secret of his view of Comey as the epitome of a "deep state" effort to destroy him.

    Like the furor over the book "Fire and Fury" by author Michael Wolf, published in January, this Trump headache will not fade soon.

    Thursday's revelations were just the start of a week of pain for Trump, as Comey is about to embark on a media blitz, starting with an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "20/20" on Sunday. CNN's Jake Tapper will sit down with the former FBI director next Thursday.

    It's not clear even that the Republican National Committee's plan to unleash a counterattack on "Lyin' Comey," exclusively revealed by CNN's Jeff Zeleny on Thursday, will be sufficient to rebut the hard-charging claims in the book.

    Still Comey's willingness to write about salacious details of the Steele dossier, including the notorious claim that Trump watched prostitutes urinate in a Moscow hotel room — claims that have not been verified — could bolster GOP claims that he is going tabloid just to sell books.

    Book to have a long half life

    The book is sure to have long-term political and legal consequences.

    Its publication on Tuesday is certain to thicken the intrigue over Russian election meddling, and the President's apparent lack of interest in making the Kremlin pay a price.

    In the book, Comey recalls being struck that neither Trump nor his advisers asked top intelligence officials at a meeting in Trump Tower "about what the future Russian threat might be. Nor did they ask how the United States might prepare itself to meet that threat." Instead, the book says, they focused on "how they could spin what we'd just told them."

    Potentially, Comey's assault could play into Trump's thinking as he mulls whether to seek to dismiss Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, perhaps as a precursor to shutting down Mueller himself.

    It will certainly offer fodder for Democrats, who will argue in the midterm elections that Trump lacks the morals, intellect or temperament to be President. But there's little chance it will loosen Trump's unshakeable hold on his political support base, which tends to view such media storms as more proof that the establishment is biased against Trump.

    Material in the book suggests, however, that Comey, who has already spoken to Mueller's investigators, will be a crucial witness as the special counsel considers whether the President obstructed justice.

    In the book, Comey repeats his claim that Trump asked if he could go easy on former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which he revealed in congressional testimony last year. But he stops short of outlining an obstruction case against Trump:

    "I have one perspective on the behavior I saw, which while disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership, may fall short of being illegal."

    Excerpts from the book also reflect just how deeply Comey's tenure resulted in the FBI being dragged into the center of America's poisonous politics, a process likely to be exacerbated by days of controversy over his book.

    Those who find Comey a flawed messenger with a healthy sense of ego and a holier-than-thou belief in his own propriety may also find ammunition for their views in the book.

    In one section, he criticizes Obama administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch as having a "tortured, half-out, half-in approach" to the Clinton email investigation, for which he was excoriated by Democrats.

    Comey also writes that he was told by Barack Obama after the election that nothing that had happened had caused the then-President to question his integrity.

    "Boy, were those words I needed to hear," he writes. "I felt a wave of emotion, almost to the verge of tears."

    He wrote that he then told Obama, "I'm just trying to do the right thing."

    Comey paints unsparing portrait of Trump in devastating tell-all book - CNN Politics https://apple.news/A69WeZr01Qa6mJF-p5_ie2w
     
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  2. SueEllenRules!

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    GOP campaign seeks to brand Comey a liar as he touts book critical of Trump

    In advance of a publicity tour by James B. Comey to promote his new book, the Republican National Committee is preparing a widespread campaign to undercut his credibility, including a new website that dubs the former FBI director as “Lyin’ Comey.”

    The website prominently features quotes from Democrats highly critical of Comey before his firing by President Trump nearly a year ago as he grew agitated by the Russia probe.

    RNC officials say their effort will also include digital ads, a “war room” to monitor Comey’s television appearances, a rapid response team to rebut his claims in real time and coordination of Trump surrogates to fan out across other TV programs.

    The broadside against Comey, a registered Republican for most of his adult life, comes as he is set to begin a media tour to tout his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty” — which, according to copies leaked Thursday, paints a devastating portrait of a president who built “a cocoon of alternative reality that he was busily wrapping around all of us.”

    In advance of the book’s release Tuesday, Comey is scheduled to appear in an interview airing Sunday night with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos. A teaser for the interview says Comey compares Trump to a “mob boss.”

    Among other things, the 304-page tell-all says Trump was obsessed with lewd allegations about him contained in an infamous dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.

    Comey’s memoir could damage the reputations of Trump and some of his top aides, and the president’s allies are scrambling to undercut Comey’s account.

    In a statement, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: “James Comey’s publicity tour is a self-serving attempt to make money and rehabilitate his own image. If Comey wants the spotlight back on him, we’ll make sure the American people understand why he has no one but himself to blame for his complete lack of credibility.”

    The RNC effort underscores the incredibly high stakes for Trump and his party as Comey details his interactions with the president, including his claim that Trump asked for a loyalty test. Many Democrats, meanwhile, are hopeful that new revelations will further bolster a case for the president’s impeachment.

    Comey’s firing set off a chain of events that have endangered Trump’s presidency. The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to probe Russian interference in the 2016 election — and possible collusion with the Trump campaign — in the aftermath of Comey’s ouster.

    With the Mueller probe escalating — including the FBI raid this week of Trump’s personal lawyer’s home and office in Manhattan — Comey’s media appearances could pose a major public relations challenge for the White House.

    “I’ve been around politics a long time, and I know fear when I see it,” said Jim Manley, a lobbyist and former senior aide to former Senate minority leader Harry M. Reid. “This White House reeks of fear. . . . This shows me that they are prepared to use a scorched-earth strategy to undermine the FBI’s credibility. The party of law and order has become the party of trying to protect Trump at all costs.”

    Doug Heye, a former RNC communications director, said the Republican effort shows Comey’s publicity tour is “going to dominate news coverage. He’s going to be seemingly everywhere.”

    But Heye said the RNC is doing its job. “It would be political malpractice not to do this,” he said.

    Heye said the biggest challenge for Republicans could be combating claims from Comey that have not previously made headlines.

    In recent weeks, Trump has continued to attack Comey on Twitter, and Comey has suggested that he will have his say through his book.

    “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not,” Comey said in a tweet last month.

    Earlier this week, Comey tweeted a picture of the room in his home where he was interviewed by Stephanopoulos, which had been transformed into a small television studio.

    “Not how my house normally looks,” Comey wrote. “One chair for George, one for me.”

    As part of its effort, the RNC is also distributing talking points to Trump surrogates to further its case against Comey. Among them: “Comey is a consummate Washington insider who knows how to work the media to protect his flanks,” and “Americans will remember that his attempts to smear the Trump administration are nothing more than retaliation by a disgraced former official.”

    Although Comey was a registered Republican for most of his adult life, he has said he no longer is. He was appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York and deputy attorney general by President George W. Bush; he was appointed FBI director by President Barack Obama.

    After Sunday’s interview, Comey has numerous other bookings, including news programs as well as appearances with CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert and the hosts of “The View.”

    A large reception is also planned Tuesday, the day of the book’s release, at the Newseum in Washington.

    Among those quoted on the RNC website is the 2016 Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, who argued that her campaign was seriously undercut by the FBI’s investigation, overseen by Comey, into her use of a private email server while secretary of state. “Badly overstepped his bounds,” Clinton is quoted as saying of Comey.

    Other Democrats whose past quotes are included on the website include Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) (“I do not have confidence in [Comey] any longer”), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) (“The FBI director has no credibility.”) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) (“It would not be a bad thing for the American people if [Comey] did step down.”).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/politics/gop-campaign-seeks-to-brand-comey-a-liar-as-he-touts-book-critical-of-trump/2018/04/12/4c8ee4c2-3e4b-11e8-974f-aacd97698cef_story.html
     
  3. SueEllenRules!

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    More Americans believe Comey over Trump, but no one is changing their mind
    The showdown between President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey reignited this week with the publication of excerpts from Comey's forthcoming tell-all book.

    While a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Comey is better liked and trusted than Trump, that public perception of the two men actually hasn't changed since last May, when Trump fired Comey.

    At the heart of this lack of variation in polls over time is that the issue of Comey vs. Trump has become purely partisan, making it difficult to get people to change opinions once they're locked into their political tribe.

    We can look specifically at the question of whether Americans approved of Trump's decision to fire Comey to see how each side is staying its political corner. In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, only 11% of Democrats approve of Trump's decision to fire Comey compared with 70% of Republicans. In a Monmouth University poll last May, the numbers were nearly identical with 10% of Democrats approving of Trump's decision to fire Comey compared with 74% of Republicans.

    That partisan split creates an overall picture today of 14 percentage points more Americans disapproving (47%) than approving (33%) of Trump's decision to fire Comey. In an average of May polls from last year, 12 percentage points more of Americans disapproved than approved of the decision to fire Comey.

    The gap reflects how much Americans believe one man more than the other. The ABC/Washington Post poll taken this past week has Comey beating Trump on this score by a 48% to 32% margin. Again though, that 16-point Comey advantage is pretty much the same as the 20-point Comey edge found in a June 2017 Quinnipiac poll on who Americans trusted more.

    Of course, it would be a mistake to say that Comey is actually liked. In the recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, Comey has a negative net favorability rating (favorable - unfavorable) at -2 percentage points. That's better than Trump's net favorability rating, which registered at -21 percentage points in a Gallup poll this month, although neither man is particularly popular.

    It's not as if the war of words between the two men, however, is hurting either ones popularity. Comey had a -1 net favorability rating in a Quinnipiac University poll after he was fired. Trump's net favorability rating in that same poll was -20 percentage points. In other words, we had the same spread (19 points) between the two men last year as now. We also have both underwater with the American public, though with Comey less disliked than Trump.

    Indeed, the story of Comey vs. Trump is the story of the Trump administration at-large.
    Democrats hate Trump. Independents in the middle are more split, though are more likely to dislike than like Trump.

    That's left Trump facing an American public against him. But with Republicans standing by the President in spite of a slew of bad press, the bottom hasn't fallen out of Trump's numbers.

    More Americans believe Comey over Trump, but no one is changing their mind - CNN Politics https://apple.news/AIquunNWdSNi1hN5pmjxzZA
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  4. BD Calhoun

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    Democrats are praising Comey for attacking Trump, even though they previously bashed him for reopening the investigation into Hillary's emails and "costing" her the election.

    Must be an awkward position to be in, huh?
     
  5. Angela Channing

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    Interesting that recently Trump is taking a much more confrontational approach against Russia after months of avoiding saying anything negative about Putin. Trump is the kind of sociopath who would make major changes to America's foreign policy to deflect accusations in the book that he is weak on dealing with Russia.

    I wonder if Rex Tillerson is considering writing a book?
     
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  6. Zable

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    US foreign policy on Russia largely has not changed since the last administration. What comes out of Mr Trump's mouth (or doesn't) is another story. Key officials concerned with foreign relations are mostly hawks.
     
  7. SueEllenRules!

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    With Comey Interview, It’s All-Out War Against Trump

    WASHINGTON — If there was any chance that President Trump and James B. Comey could avoid all-out war, it will end Sunday night.

    That is when ABC News will broadcast an hourlong interview with Mr. Comey, the president’s fired F.B.I. director, as he seeks to publicize his searing tell-all memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.”

    Clips aired by the network show Mr. Comey questioning Mr. Trump’s character as he says that Mr. Trump repeatedly pressed him to conduct an investigation to refute a salacious allegation that he had cavorted with prostitutes in Moscow.

    In the book, which is scheduled to be formally released on Tuesday, Mr. Comey goes just as far, dropping any pretense of comity with the president he briefly served. He calls Mr. Trump unethical and says he is a serial liar who could be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russian government. He compares the president to a mafia boss and says his tenure has been like a forest fire that is incinerating the country’s important norms and traditions.

    “Donald Trump’s presidency threatens much of what is good in this nation,” Mr. Comey writes in the book.

    The interview with Mr. Comey and the weekslong media blitz he plans for his book amount to a remarkable public assault on a sitting president by someone who served at the highest levels of power in the government.

    The stakes for both men could hardly be higher. Mr. Comey seems likely to be the star witness in any obstruction of justice case brought against the president by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the sprawling Russia investigation. Mr. Trump’s legal fate, as well as his political fortunes in Washington, may depend on whether he succeeds in undermining the credibility of Mr. Comey and the law enforcement institutions he views as arrayed against him.

    The ABC interview, conducted by its chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, is Mr. Comey’s first major attempt to prevent that from happening, and in it he speaks with the abandon of a man who finally feels unleashed. But Mr. Comey’s liberation is all the more combustible because it is aimed directly at a president who has said with pride on Twitter that “when someone attacks me, I always attack back...except 100x more.”

    As if on cue, hours before the interview aired, Mr. Trump called Mr. Comey a “slimeball” for the second time in three days, saying in a pair of early-morning tweets that he belongs in jail for what the president said were lies to Congress and leaks of classified information. In another tweet, Mr. Trump said Mr. Comey would go down in history as “the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”

    Mr. Comey responded later in the day with a more subtle dig of his own.

    “My book is about ethical leadership & draws on stories from my life & lessons I learned from others,” he tweeted. “3 presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint.”

    It is unclear where the epic battle of wills will lead, other than to a sustained escalation of insults between two men who have each admitted to having outsize egos. But it is certain to be a test of powerful forces in the modern media landscape: the presidential megaphone, amplified by 50 million Twitter followers, and the global reach of an adversary on a seemingly endless, 24-hour, cable-news-driven book tour.

    Parts of the interview that have already been aired suggest that Mr. Comey talks in detail about the interactions he had with Mr. Trump, including meetings and phone calls about which he says he meticulously wrote down notes afterward for posterity. (In another tweet on Sunday morning, Mr. Trump said that Mr. Comey’s “‘memos’ are self serving and FAKE!”)

    Some of the most startling assertions by Mr. Comey about Mr. Trump in the interview revolve around his first meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower just days before the inauguration. That day, intelligence officials, including Mr. Comey, briefed the incoming president on Russia’s attempt to meddle with the election.

    Mr. Comey says in the interview that Mr. Trump and his aides seemed interested only in what the former F.B.I. director called the “P.R. and spin” about the issue.

    “The conversation, to my surprise, moved into a P.R. conversation about how the Trump team would position this and what they could say about this,” Mr. Comey said in a preview of the interview that aired on Sunday morning. “No one, to my recollection, asked: ‘So what’s coming next from the Russians? How might we stop it? What’s the future look like?’”

    “It was all, ‘What can we say about what they did and how it affects the election that we just had?’” Mr. Comey said.

    It was at the end of the meeting that Mr. Comey says in his book that he asked to speak to Mr. Trump alone to brief him on the salacious “Steele dossier,” which contains unverified allegations about Mr. Trump, including a claim that the Russian government has video recordings of him watching prostitutes urinate on each other in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.

    Mr. Comey says in the ABC News interview that Mr. Trump denied the allegations that day, saying, “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?” Weeks later, in a telephone call from the president after the dossier was published by BuzzFeed, Mr. Trump again denied the account in graphic terms, Mr. Comey said.

    “There’s no way I would let people pee on each other around me,” Mr. Trump said, according to Mr. Comey’s account in his book. Mr. Comey said the president also raised the idea that the F.B.I. should investigate the claim as a way of proving that it never happened. Mr. Comey said he warned Mr. Trump that doing so would add to “the narrative” that the president was under investigation.

    Mr. Comey said in the interview that it was an “out of body” experience to be talking with the incoming president about whether the incident had taken place, or whether the Russians had material they could use to blackmail Mr. Trump.

    “I was floating above myself looking down saying you’re sitting here briefing the incoming president of the United States about prostitutes in Moscow,” Mr. Comey says in the interview. Asked whether he believed Mr. Trump’s denials, Mr. Comey said he was not sure.

    “I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” he said. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

    The president took a break from his attacks on Mr. Comey as he left the White House on a rainy Sunday afternoon to spend time at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. But it seems likely that he and his allies will not back down in the face of Mr. Comey’s barrage of public accusations, which are expected to continue for weeks.

    On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary, unloaded on Mr. Comey, calling him a “self-admitted leaker” and a liar.

    For his part, Mr. Comey appears unrelenting as well.

    In the book, he compares Mr. Trump’s demands for his loyalty to the induction ceremonies favored by Sammy the Bull, the boss of the Cosa Nostra. Holding little back, Mr. Comey argues that Americans in both parties should be wary of the damage Mr. Trump is doing to the country.

    “What is happening now is not normal,” he writes. “It is not fake news. It is not O.K.”

    With Comey Interview, It’s All-Out War Against Trump - The New York Times https://apple.news/AtFh_x5k1SJKLO18q0L6mUg
     
  8. SueEllenRules!

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    James Comey’s Interview on ABC’s ‘20/20’: Annotated Excerpts

    ABC News aired an hourlong interview on Sunday with James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director fired by President Trump last year. George Stephanopoulos of ABC interviewed Mr. Comey, who is promoting his new book, “A Higher Loyalty,” for five hours in all. Here are highlights and analysis from the complete conversation.

    ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S LEADERSHIP
    ‘He is morally unfit to be president.’

    I don’t buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who’s tracking conversations and knows what’s going on. I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.

    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. And that’s not a policy statement. Again, I don’t care what your views are on guns or immigration or taxes.

    There’s something more important than that that should unite all of us, and that is our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.


    During much of the interview, Mr. Comey seems disciplined and almost dispassionate. But at the end, he lets loose in a remarkable way. It is hard to think of a time that such a senior official of the government has gone on to so directly question the moral fitness of the sitting president. He said that he hopes Mr. Trump is held accountable for his lies, but that impeachment would be a cop-out for a public that should also be held accountable for electing Mr. Trump in the first place.

    ON COMPARING THE PRESIDENT TO A MOB BOSS
    ‘The loyalty oaths, the boss as the dominant center of everything.’

    STEPHANOPOULOS: How strange is it for you to sit here and compare the president to a mob boss?

    COMEY: Very strange. And I don’t do it lightly. I — and I’m not trying to, by the way, suggest that President Trump is out breaking legs and — you know, shaking down shopkeepers. But instead, what I’m talking about is that leadership culture constantly comes back to me when I think about my experience with the Trump administration. The — the loyalty oaths, the boss as the dominant center of everything, it’s all about how do you serve the boss, what’s in the boss’s interests. It’s the family, the family, the family, the family. That’s why it reminds me so much and not, “So what’s the right thing for the country and what are the values of the institutions that we’re dealing with?”

    The comparison to the mob is sure to be one of the more controversial takeaways of Mr. Comey’s new book. But it is one that Mr. Comey repeatedly defends in the interview.

    ON MEETING TRUMP AT A WHITE HOUSE RECEPTION
    ‘How could he think this is a good idea?’

    And so I’m walking forward thinking that, thinking, “How could he think this is a good idea? That he’s going to try to hug me, the guy that a whole lot of people think, although that’s not true, but think I tried to get him elected president and did. Isn’t he master of television? This is disastrous.”

    One of the enduring images of Mr. Comey was captured by television cameras shortly after Mr. Trump became president and held a reception at the White House for law enforcement officials. Mr. Trump calls to Mr. Comey, who walks across a room to shake the president’s hand, and Mr. Trump appears to lean over and almost kiss his cheek.

    The moment was one of many that Mr. Comey describes in which he believes the president is trying to intimidate him into understanding that they are both on the same side, part of the same team.

    ON TRUMP’S PHYSIQUE
    ‘It seemed like he had average sized hands.’

    I say that in my book ‘cause I’m trying to be honest, ‘cause that’s the truth there had been all this controversy and mocking about hand size, I can’t remember the details. But as I shook his hand I made a note to check the size and it seemed like he had average sized hands.

    Mr. Comey describes his book as an attempt to have a thoughtful discussion about ethics, values, honesty and other serious topics. But he also includes a few salacious details that he — and his publishers — know will help sales.

    He says that Mr. Trump was shorter than he thought (coming from a man who stands 6 feet 8). He notes that Mr. Trump’s tie was too long and that his hair was perfectly coifed.

    But perhaps the observation about his hands is most likely to get the president riled up. After Senator Marco Rubio mocked Mr. Trump in a debate, Mr. Trump declared: “Look at those hands; are they small hands?”

    Mr. Comey said in the interview that he recalled those moments as he shook the president’s hand for the first time.

    ON TRUMP’S MONOLOGUES
    ‘It was him talking almost the entire time.’

    It was him talking almost the entire time, which I’ve discovered is something he frequently does. And so it would be monologue in this direction, monologue in that direction, monologue in a different direction.

    And a constant series of assertions that — about the inauguration crowd, about how great my inauguration speech was, about all the free media — earned media, I think was his term, that I got during the campaign. On and on and on and on. Everyone agrees, everyone agrees, I did this, the — I never assaulted these women, I never made fun of a reporter.

    And — I’m sure you’re wondering what question did I ask that would prompt those? None, zero. I didn’t ask any questions that I recall.


    One of the most interesting observations by Mr. Comey during the interview was that Mr. Trump delivers monologues that are intended to leave the impression that those listening agree completely with him.

    Mr. Comey notes on several occasions that in private conversations, the president simply makes assertions — often falsely — without giving the people he’s talking to a chance to interject or object. It’s an interesting observation because it is similar to what Mr. Trump does in public.

    When he is giving remarks to a small group around a table at the White House, he often rambles from one topic to the next, making assertions that often are not true but cannot be challenged at the time because they come in such rapid-fire fashion.

    And Mr. Comey notes that the president often says contradictory things in the same monologue. He noted that over dinner, the president told him that Reince Priebus, the chief of staff at the time, didn’t know they were having dinner together. But later, Mr. Trump told Mr. Comey to follow up with Mr. Priebus, who knew they were having dinner together.

    “One of those things is not true. One of those things is a lie,” Mr. Comey says in the interview.

    ON THOSE WHO WORK WITH THE PRESIDENT
    ‘He will stain everyone around him.’

    The challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him. And the question is, how much stain is too much stain and how much stain eventually makes you unable to accomplish your goal of protecting the country and serving the country? So I don’t know.

    Mr. Comey reveals in his book that John F. Kelly, the current White House chief of staff, said he wanted to resign in protest when Mr. Comey was fired. In the interview, he says he urged Mr. Kelly to stay for the good of the country.

    ON INFORMING PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP ABOUT RUSSIA’S MEDDLING IN THE ELECTION
    ‘I don’t remember any questions about, “So what are they going to do next. How might we stop it?” ’

    No one, to my recollection, asked, “So what — what’s coming next from the Russians?” You’re about to lead a country that has an adversary attacking it and I don’t remember any questions about, “So what are they going to do next. How might we stop it? What’s the future look like? Because we’ll be custodians of the security of this country.” There was none of that. It was all, “What can we say about what they did and how it affects the election that we just had.”

    Much has been written about the meeting in Trump Tower on Jan. 6 when Mr. Comey and other intelligence officials briefed Mr. Trump and his top aides about Russian interference. Mr. Comey says that the president-elect and his aides were more concerned about how to “spin” it publicly. And he says that he got the feeling that Mr. Trump wanted to talk about the public relations effort with the intelligence chiefs there to send a message that they were part of the spin effort as well.

    ON WHETHER THE RUSSIANS ARE BLACKMAILING THE PRESIDENT
    ‘I think it’s possible. I don’t know.’

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think the Russians have something on Donald Trump?

    COMEY: I think it’s possible. I don’t know. These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.

    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 would have been able to say with high confidence about any other president I dealt with, but I can’t. It’s possible.

    Some of Mr. Comey’s assertions in the interview, and the book, are sure to be assailed by his critics. Among the most damning is that he cannot say for sure whether the president is being blackmailed by the Russians. He offers no proof that there is such blackmail.

    ON THE PRESIDENT’S REQUEST TO “LET GO” OF THE FLYNN INVESTIGATION
    ‘It’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice.’

    It’s certainly some evidence of obstruction of justice. It would depend and — and I’m just a witness in this case, not the investigator or prosecutor, it would depend upon other things that reflected on his intent.

    Perhaps the most consequential exchange between Mr. Comey and Mr. Trump occurred when the president cleared the Oval Office of his staff — including the vice president — and asked to speak with Mr. Comey alone. It was in that session that Mr. Comey says that the president asked him to “let go” of the investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser who had just been fired.

    Mr. Comey makes it clear what he thinks the president’s motivations were.

    “Really? The president just kicked out the attorney general to ask me to drop a criminal investigation. Wow, the world continues to go crazy.”

    ON THE “STEELE DOSSIER”
    ‘Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?’

    And then I started to tell him about the allegation was that he had been involved with prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow in 2013 during the visit for the Miss Universe pageant and that the Russians had — filmed the episode. And he interrupted very defensively and started talking about it, you know, “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?”

    The public has known for months that Mr. Comey privately briefed the president about the so-called Steele Dossier, which contained salacious and unverified information about the president’s activities. But it’s one thing to know that; it’s another to hear Mr. Comey describe the conversation in detail.

    Mr. Comey notes how odd it felt to be talking with the incoming president about allegations that he had been with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

    Mr. Comey asserts that he and other intelligence officials believed it was important for Mr. Trump to know that the information about him was in circulation and might soon become public. But it’s clear from his description of the conversation that Mr. Trump’s anger toward him began that day.

    Mr. Comey also says that his decision to assure the president that he was not under investigation — something that was true at that moment — was a mistake because it later angered Mr. Trump that Mr. Comey and other officials would not say the same thing publicly.

    ON DISCUSSING THE ALLEGATION OF A GRAPHIC VIDEOTAPE
    ‘The world’s gone crazy.’

    And then he said, “Another reason you know it’s not true is I’m a germophobe. There’s no way I’d let people pee on each other around me.” And that caught me so much by surprise I actually let out an audible laugh and — because it was just one of those — I was startled by it.

    And — and I remember thinking, “Well, should I say that, ‘As I understand the activity, sir, it doesn’t require an overnight stay. And given that it was allegedly the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton, I would imagine you could be at a safe distance from the activity.’” All these things are bouncing around my head. But instead of saying it, it just led me to think, “The world’s gone crazy.”

    I’m the director of the F.B.I. and I’m standing at my window, looking out on the darkened Pennsylvania Avenue. And I remember this moment like it was yesterday. And I can see the lit Washington Monument that’s rising from my vantage point of the F.B.I. just over the Trump — new Trump hotel. And I just remember thinking, “Everything’s gone mad.” And then, having finished his explanation, which I hadn’t asked for, he hung up. And I went to find my chief of staff to tell him that the world’s gone crazy.


    This is the most graphic allegation about the president in the Steele Dossier. Mr. Trump raised it directly in a phone call after BuzzFeed published the dossier, Mr. Comey says.

    In the interview, Mr. Comey offers striking thoughts on the president’s assertions as he notes that someone would not have had to stay in the hotel room overnight for the incident to be true.

    ON TRUMP’S DESIRE TO HAVE THE VIDEOTAPE ALLEGATION REFUTED
    ‘It’s very difficult to prove something didn’t happen.’

    When he started talking about it — “I may order you to investigate that” — I said, “Sir, that’s up to you. But you’d want to be careful about that, because it might create a narrative that we’re investigating you personally. And second, it’s very difficult to prove something didn’t happen.”

    What is clear from Mr. Comey’s descriptions of his interactions with the president is that Mr. Trump is often unaware of the dangers he is putting himself into.

    ON THE CLINTON EMAIL INVESTIGATION
    ‘This wasn’t your ordinary bureaucrat who just mishandles one document.’

    STEPHANOPOULOS: And you also would not use the words “extreme carelessness” today?

    COMEY: No. I’d find some — I don’t know what it would be, sitting here. Find some other way to convey, because I wanted to be honest and transparent. This wasn’t your ordinary bureaucrat who just mishandles one document.

    This was something more than that. But not something that anybody would prosecute. And — and that’s one of the things about the criticism that drives me crazy. Nobody who has done counterespionage work would think this is a case that’s been prosecuted — would be prosecuted, ever. And so I needed to find a way to both convey that and to capture that it was more than just ordinary carelessness.


    Repeatedly in the interview, Mr. Comey defends his decision to hold a news conference in the summer of 2016 announcing the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. He instead asserted that Mrs. Clinton had used “extreme carelessness” in her handling of classified materials.

    In the end, he admits, the words he chose made both sides angry (and led to criticism from his wife and daughters, who supported Mrs. Clinton.) But he adamantly defends the overall choice to hold the news conference, saying that if he had just issued a one-line statement closing the investigation, critics would have said it was “fixed.”

    It’s an answer that is unlikely to satisfy many people or persuade them to change their minds, and Mr. Comey seems to know that.

    ON NOT REVEALING THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION DURING THE CAMPAIGN
    ‘This was very different.’

    Consistent with our policy — again, very different than the Hillary Clinton case, which began with a public referral. Everybody knew we were looking at her emails. So when we confirmed it three months later, there’s no jeopardy at all to the investigation.

    This was very different. We did not want these Americans to know that we had reason to believe they might be working with the Russians because we got to run this down and investigate it.


    Democrats have long assailed Mr. Comey for having a double standard: he revealed and confirmed the existence of an inquiry into Mrs. Clinton’s emails before the election, but he refused to tell the American people that the F.B.I. was investigating the Trump campaign for possible collusion with Russians.

    He says the Trump-Russia investigation needed to be kept secret because the people under investigation didn’t know that the F.B.I. was on to them. To reveal it would have imperiled the investigation, he says.

    ON REVEALING THAT THE CLINTON EMAIL INQUIRY WAS REOPENED
    ‘Concealing is catastrophic.’

    Speaking is really bad; concealing is catastrophic. If you conceal the fact that you have restarted the Hillary Clinton email investigation, not in some silly way but in a very, very important way that may lead to a different conclusion, what will happen to the institutions of justice when that comes out?

    Mr. Comey has been repeatedly criticized by Democrats for deciding to announce — just days before the 2016 election — that the F.B.I. was reopening the Clinton email case. It is, to many Democrats, evidence that he was biased against Mrs. Clinton, or driven by an egotistic need to be in the spotlight.

    One interesting point: He argues that even if he had chosen not to reveal the investigation, he thinks it would have leaked out anyway before the election. He argues that there had been many leaks from inside the F.B.I.’s New York offices, which was handling the case.

    ON THINKING THAT CLINTON WOULD WIN
    ‘I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump.’

    STEPHANOPOULOS: At some level, wasn’t the decision to reveal influenced by your assumption that Hillary Clinton was going to win? And your concern that she wins, this comes out several weeks later, and then that’s taken by her opponent as a sign that she’s an illegitimate president?

    COMEY: It must have been. I don’t remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been. Because I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump. And so I’m sure that it — that it was a factor. Like I said, I don’t remember spelling it out, but it had to have been. That — that she’s going to be elected president, and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out.

    Mr. Comey’s acknowledgment has been seized on by Democrats as evidence that he admits being driven by political considerations.

    He disputes that in the interview, saying that he was not driven by a desire to see a particular outcome.

    ON OBAMA’S REMARKS ABOUT THE EMAIL INVESTIGATION
    ‘He shouldn’t have done that.’

    I think he felt a pressure in the political environment because he wanted Hillary Clinton to be elected, to give her a shot in the arm. And so he spoke about an investigation. And he shouldn’t have done that.

    Mr. Comey generally speaks highly of former President Barack Obama. And his criticism of Mr. Obama seems a little quaint given what Mr. Comey describes elsewhere in the interview about Mr. Trump’s public and private attempts to influence the Russia investigation. But at the time of the email investigation, the former F.B.I. director suggests, Mr. Obama’s public statements were one reason that Mr. Comey decided to make a public statement about the end of the email inquiry.

    At another point in the interview, he also cites classified information suggesting that Loretta E. Lynch, the attorney general, was trying to protect the Clinton campaign. It’s unclear what that evidence was — he won’t say. But he says that even though he didn’t believe it was true, the existence of the material made it more important for him to act independently of Ms. Lynch.

    ON HIS IMPACT ON THE ELECTION
    ‘Oh my God, did we have some role in this?’

    But a whole lot of me was thinking, “Oh my God, did we have some role in this? Did we have some impact on the election?” And it’s an incredibly painful juxtaposition, but also thinking, “I really wouldn’t have done it any differently.”

    God, I hope we had no impact. I hope we had no impact. But it — I know — I worry it sounds arrogant to say, but it — it wouldn’t change the result.


    Despite his damning conclusions about Mr. Trump, Mr. Comey says that he would not have wanted to change a decision because he thought it might get Mr. Trump elected.

    He says “that’s not the F.B.I.’s role.” And yet, he offers searing observations later in the interview about Mr. Trump, saying he is untethered from the truth and is morally unfit to be president.

    ON HIS OWN EGO
    ‘I have to be careful not to fall in love with my own view of things.’

    One of the things I’ve struggled with my whole life is my ego and — and a sense that I — I have to be careful not to fall in love with my own view of things.

    In several places in the interview, Mr. Comey confronts head-on the criticism — from Democrats and Republicans alike — that his ego drove him to make flawed decisions as F.B.I. director.

    He remains defensive throughout much of the interview, saying that he still believes he made the right decisions about the Clinton email case and other contentious actions. But the admission that he struggles with his ego seems like a savvy attempt to give his critics a win, even as he disputes their ultimate conclusion about his motives.

    James Comey’s Interview on ABC’s ‘20/20’: Annotated Excerpts - The New York Times https://apple.news/AG1yuZAGbQYmfTviONZaNqQ
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 6:39 AM
  9. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    Comey is an inept ex girlfriend that got dumped and is bitter about it..
     
  10. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    In this case, he may be more like the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction. Getting Mueller appointed Special Counsel is better than the bunny in the pot.
     
  11. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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  12. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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  13. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    Yeah, I don't have two hours to spare. Sorry.
     
  14. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    It’s a 90 second preview, not the entire movie, but whatever. By the grace of God, Trump’s goose is cooked either way.
     
  15. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    Who needs luck when we’ve got Mueller?
     
  17. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    When you wish upon a star
    Makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires
    Will come to you

    If your heart is in your dream
    No request is too extreme
    When you wish upon a star
    As dreamers do
    Fate is kind
    She brings to those who love
    The sweet fulfillment of
    Their secret longing
    Like a bolt out of the blue
    Suddenly, it comes to you

    When you wish upon a star
    Your dreams come true
    When a star is born
    They possess a gift or two
    One of them is this
    They have the power to make a wish come true
    When you wish upon a star
    Makes no difference who you are
    Anything your heart desires
    Will come to you,
    If your heart is in your dream
    No request is too extreme

    When you wish upon a star
    As dreamers do
    Fate is kind
    She brings to those who love
    The sweet fulfillment of
    Their secret longing
    Like a bolt out of the blue
    Suddenly, it comes to you
    When you wish upon a star
    Your dreams come true


    Read more: Disney - When You Wish Upon A Star Lyrics | MetroLyrics
     
  19. SueEllenRules!

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    Trump’s attack dogs vs. the news media over Comey
    Former FBI Director James Comey did a sit-down interview with George Stephanopoulos outlining parts of his tell-all book about Donald Trump. With Comey's book coming out, Team Trump was out in full force trying to put out fires and the White House released attack dogs Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway & RNC Chairman McDaniel. Trump handled it all with grace calling Comey the 'worst FBI Director in history' and it isn't the first time he has called someone the worst in history.

     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 9:52 AM
  20. BD Calhoun

    BD Calhoun Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    If justice were fair, Mueller himself would be locked up. Democrats are trying to make a hero out of a guy who lied us into Iraq, helped round up immigrants after 9/11, and helped prosecute whistle blowers who exposed illegal torture programs. There have been legitimate charges filed as a result of the investigation into Trump, but Mueller is far from a good guy.
     

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