In his long-awaited tell-all memoir, James Comey shines a light on the brief time he spent inside the Trump administration, the details of his firing, and even goes so far as to compare the president to a mob boss.
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The provocative new account, entitled A Higher Loyalty, shares new details about Comey’s interactions with U.S. President Trump as well as his own thought process behind the handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 presidential election.
Comey depicts Trump as “ego-driven and about personal loyalty,” and also refers to the president as “untethered to truth.” The book adheres closely to Comey’s public testimony and written statements about his contacts with the president during the early days of the administration and his growing concern about the president’s integrity. It also includes strikingly personal jabs at Trump.
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Here are the five most outrageous revelations from Comey’s upcoming title, which will be released next week.
1. John Kelly offered to quit because of how Comey was fired
In his book, Comey provides the details of his firing, and goes on to reveal that he wasn’t the only one displeased with how he was dismissed. Comey claims that then-Homeland Security secretary John Kelly — now Trump’s chief of staff — offered to quit for how disgusted he was at the manner in which Comey was let go. He adds that Kelly has been increasingly marginalized in the White House and that Trump has considered firing the chief of staff.
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2. U.S. government had classified information about Attorney General Loretta Lynch
Comey also reveals for the first time that the U.S. government had unverified classified information that he believes could have been used to cast doubt on Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s independence in the Clinton probe. While Comey does not outline the details of the information — and says he didn’t see indications of Lynch inappropriately influencing the investigation — he says it worried him that the material could be used to attack the integrity of the probe and the FBI’s independence.
3. Trump reportedly requested investigation claims of controversial “pee tape”
Comey alleges in his new book that Trump asked him to investigate allegations that Vladimir Putin had obtained a tape of the president engaging in erotic acts in a Moscow hotel, which allegedly involved urinating on a pillow.
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing,’ adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a one per cent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” the Telegraph states Comey writes in his book.
The book reportedly states that Trump asked Comey “whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes.”
4. Comey gets personal with his jabs
The former FBI director blasts Trump as unethical and “untethered to truth” and calls his leadership of the country “ego-driven and about personal loyalty.”
The six-foot-eight Comey describes Trump as shorter than he expected with a “too long” tie and “bright white half-moons” under his eyes that he suggests came from tanning goggles. He also says he made a conscious effort to check the president’s hand size, saying it was “smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”
5. Concern about imminent Russian threat, or lack thereof
After his first meeting with newly-minted President Trump — which also featured vice-president Mike Pence, Trump’s first chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Michael Flynn, who would become national security adviser, and incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer — Comey writes he was alarmed by what the Trump team didn’t care to know about Russia.
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“They were about to lead a country that had been attacked by a foreign adversary, yet they had no questions about what the future Russian threat might be,” Comey writes. Instead, he writes, they launched into a strategy session about how to “spin what we’d just told them” for the public.
“A Higher Loyalty” will be released next week by Flatiron books and can be purchased for US$29.99.
— With files from the Associated Press