Former FBI Director James Comey is set to release his explosive new tell-all “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” next week and if its excerpts are any indication, it’s going to be just incredibly dramatic (and slightly vengeful) and will probably cause President Donald Trump to have yet another Twitter meltdown.
Comey, whose sudden firing from the bureau took everyone by surprise — including Comey himself — apparently did not hold back as he likened the commander-in-chief to a mafia boss, called him “unethical” and his presidency a “forest fire” in the previews of his memoir published by The Washington Post.
The book, due out on April 17, not only discusses the divisive 2016 presidential election and the days leading up to Comey’s departure, but also his working relationship with former President Barack Obama, the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, the alleged Russian interference in 2016 vote and Trump’s apparent obsession with the most salacious detail from the infamous Steele dossier: “golden showers thing.”
Here are some of the most interesting details from the upcoming book that the Republicans have already started attempts to discredit it.
The So-Called “Pee Tape”
Apparently, Trump asked the then-FBI Director to look into one of the most sordid details from former British intelligence officer Christopher Steel’s damning dossier.
In January 2017, top intelligence officials briefed Obama and Trump on claims that Russian spies allegedly had compromising personal and financial information about the business mogul-turned-politician. BuzzFeed then went ahead released the entire dossier which, among other things, alleged Trump once had prostitutes urinate on the bed in the Presidential Suite of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow where Obama and his wife had supposedly slept on their visit to the Russian capital.
Comey said he first met Trump at the pre-inauguration intelligence briefing where he briefed him about the Steele dossier. In his book, he claimed then-president-elect interrupted the meeting and “strongly denied the allegations, asking — rhetorically, I assumed — whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes. He then began discussing cases where women had accused him of sexual assault, a subject I had not raised. He mentioned a number of women, and seemed to have memorized their allegations.”
It is important to mention over a dozen women have accused the president of sexual abuse and harassment. He was also caught on tape bragging about groping and molesting women without their consent.
Trump reportedly brought up the “pee tape” during a White House dinner as well.
“Unprompted, and in another zag in the conversation, he brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing,’ repeating much of what he had said to me previously, adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey wrote, according to BuzzFeed. “That distracted me slightly because I immediately began wondering why his wife would think there was any chance, even a small one, that he had been with prostitutes urinating on each other in Moscow … In what kind of marriage, to what kind of man, does a spouse conclude there is only a 99 percent chance her husband didn’t do that?”
Trump’s Height, Complexion And Hand Size
Here are a few quotes that clearly illustrate how Comey feels about Trump.
“[Trump] appeared shorter than he seemed on a debate stage with Hillary Clinton.” Trump is 6’3.
“His face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assume he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coiffed, bright blond hair, which on close inspection looked to be all his. I remember wondering how long it must take him in the morning to get that done.”
“As he extended his hand. I made a mental note to check its size. It was smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”
“I stared at the soft white pouches under his expressionless blue eyes. I remember thinking in that moment that the president doesn’t understand the FBI’s role in American life.”
Trump As A Mafia Boss
It appears dealing with the Trump administration reminded Comey of his earlier days as a prosecutor dealing with the mobsters.
Comey mentioned an instance during a 2017 White House meeting with the president and former chief of staff Reince Priebus where he realized Trump “pulls all those present into a silent circle of assent” because “he never stops talking.”
“The encounter left me shaken,” he wrote. “I had never seen anything like it in the Oval Office. As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The 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 the truth.”
Many believe the name of Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty” is a dig at Trump’s infamous demand for loyalty.
“To my mind, the demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony — with Trump in the role of the family boss, asking me if I have what it takes to be a ‘made man’,” the former FBI director continued.
An "Overwhelmed" Jeff Sessions
Comey said Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who continues to draw Trump’s ire for recusing himself from the ongoing Russia probe, was “overwhelmed” by the job. It reminded Comey of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales “both overwhelmed and overmatched by the job — but Sessions lacked the kindness Gonzales radiated.”
The Clinton Email Investigation
Comey received a lot of backlash — particularly from Democrats — when he announced his decision to re-open Clinton email investigation just 11 days before the election.
“It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don't know,” he wrote.
He also apologized to Clinton.
“I have read she has felt anger toward me personally, and I’m sorry for that,” he continued, referring to her book “What Happened” where she talked about the investigation. “I’m sorry that I couldn’t do a better job explaining to her and her supporters why I made the decisions I made.”
John Kelly Wanted To Resign
Then-Homeland Security secretary and the current White House chief of staff, John Kelly, was angry after Trump fired Comey. In fact, Comey said he received a call from Kelly saying he was “sick” about the president’s decision and “intended to quit” in protest, adding “he didn't want to work for dishonorable people who would treat someone like me in such a manner.”
“I urged Kelly not to do that, arguing that the country needed principled people around this president. Especially this president,” Comey wrote.
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque