NBC's Guthrie to Comey: 'Do you think you've diminished yourself?'

NBC's Savannah Guthrie asked James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani: FBI asked me about tease of a 'surprise' before election Republicans tear into IG finding on Clinton probe FBI agent Peter Strzok escorted from building amid internal review MORE on Wednesday if he enjoyed "taking those shots at the president" in his new book, with the "Today" anchor pressing the former FBI director if he thinks he's diminished himself.

“There’s been a lot of reactions to the book so far,” Guthrie said to Comey as part of his media blitz for "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership." “Some of the most widely cited parts have to do with your description and words about President TrumpDonald John TrumpConservatives express concern over House GOP immigration bill Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary Trump defends Nielsen amid criticism over family separations MORE. Including calling his skin orange and saying he looked like he had tanning goggles. Some people said that was, for lack of a better word, that was a little catty.”

"No. I didn’t think of them as shots," Comey replied.

"Really?" Guthrie followed.

"And I still don’t," Comey said.

"Really?" Guthrie asked again.

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"You’ve read the book. You see the description I give of my high school boss in the grocery store," Comey said. "I’m trying to be an author, something I’ve never been before and bring the reader into that scene and describe in great detail what I’m seeing. And so I’m not trying to pick on President Trump or my boss from high school."

"But you’re talking about his hair? Some people are saying, 'Wait a minute. James Comey, you just got in the gutter with President Trump, who is known for his name-calling.' He’s called you a slime ball and a nut job and any numbers of things. Did you stoop?" she said.

"I really don’t think so. Again, maybe I’m missing it, but I think I’m describing what his hair looked like. In my head, the editor’s voice kept bouncing around saying, ‘Take the reader with you, take the reader with you. What did you see? What were your impressions?'" he said.

"You don’t think you’ve diminished yourself?" Guthrie asked.

"I hope not," Comey replied.

Comey is scheduled to make other stops to promote his book, which hit bookstores on Tuesday. He will sit down for interviews with Fox News's Bret Baier, CNN’s Jake Tapper, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and PBS’s Judy Woodruff.

The former FBI director will also appear at a town hall on CNN hosted by Anderson Cooper at Comey’s alma mater, the College of William & Mary.

A Sunday night interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos was Comey's first since being fired by Trump last May.

The 9.8 million viewers for that interview fell well-short of the Stormy Daniels interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" three weeks ago, which drew 22 million viewers.

It was also almost 10 million less than the number of viewers who tuned in for Comey's testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee last June, which nabbed 19.5 million viewers.