Comey Unloads On ‘Serial Liar’ Trump For Treating Women Like Meat And Being a ‘Stain’ On All Who Work With Him
If there was any chance that President Trump and former FBI director James Comey could have avoided all-out war, it ended Sunday night. During a scorching interview with ABC’s chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos, Mr. Comey called Trump a serial liar who treated women like “meat,” and described him as a “stain” on everyone who worked for him, the New York Times reports.
Comey asserted that the president was incinerating the country’s crucial norms and traditions like a wildfire. He also compared the president to a mafia boss and said a salacious allegation that Mr. Trump had cavorted with prostitutes in Moscow had left him vulnerable to blackmail by the Russian government.
“Our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country,” Comey told Stephanopoulos, on the program “20/20.”
“The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.”
Just minutes before the interview aired, and enraged president Trump called Mr. Comey a “slimeball” for the second time in three days, saying in a pair of early-morning tweets that he belonged in jail for what the president said were lies to Congress and leaks of classified information. In another post, Mr. Trump said Mr. Comey would go down in history as “the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!” He added that “he is not smart!”
As if on cue, Comey responded to the president’s Twitter posts 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 wrote on Twitter. “3 presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint.”
The president has repeatedly criticized Comey for his handling of the Hillary Clinton email case. On Sunday, he fired off a tweet claiming that Mr. Comey had admitted in his book that he went easy on her because he thought she would win the election.
“Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe. In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job. Slimeball!” Trump wrote.
In fact, Mr. Comey said the opposite in his book, acknowledging that he may have unconsciously assumed she would win when he reopened the email investigation just days before the election, something that many Democrats believe was devastating to her campaign.
In the ABC interview, Mr. Comey said he believed at the time that it would be extremely damaging to the credibility of the F.B.I. if the reopened investigation did not come to light until after Mrs. Clinton had won the White House.
“If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done,” he said. “We’re no longer that group in America that is apart from the partisans, and that can be trusted.
It is unclear where this epic battle of wills will lead, other than a sustained escalation of insults between a man who has an outsized ego, and a former FBI chief. 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 a smart adversary who is on a seemingly endless, 24-hour, cable-news-driven book tour.