Five things to know from Comey’s new book
The first excerpts from former FBI Director James Comey’s book were released on Thursday, providing his first extensive public recounting of the events surrounding the 2016 presidential race and his brief time in the Trump administration.
Comey, whom President Trump fired last May, details his interactions with the president and the fallout from the FBI’s investigation into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State.
The book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” is due out on Tuesday.
Here are some of the most notable claims in the book:
Comey compares Trump to a mob boss
Comey takes a number of shots at his former boss in the upcoming book, likening him to a mob boss and criticizing his physical appearance.
Comey wrote that Trump sought loyalty “like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony,” a reference to a notorious mobster. He also described Trump’s leadership as “ego driven,” according to The Associated Press.
He also went in depth to describe Trump’s appearance when recounting their first in-person meeting.
Trump’s face “appeared slightly orange,” Comey wrote, “with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles.”
He also observed that Trump’s hair “looked to be all his” and that his hands were “smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”
Comey regrets his explanation of the Clinton investigation
Comey addressed his handling of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, which Clinton and supporters have blamed for her election loss.
“I have read she has felt anger toward me personally, and I’m sorry for that,” Comey wrote, according to an excerpt obtained by ABC News.
“I’m sorry that I couldn’t do a better job explaining to her and her supporters why I made the decisions I made.”
Though Comey publicly said Clinton would not be prosecuted for her handling of classified information, he wrote a letter just a couple weeks before Election Day stating the FBI had uncovered new emails.
Though Comey said no new information was found in the emails, Clinton’s team blamed the letter for her sharp drop in the polls leading up to the election.
Trump asked Comey to investigate salacious allegations
The president seemed intent on disproving lewd claims about him contained in the so-called Steele dossier and asked Comey to investigate, the ex-FBI chief wrote.
Comey recalled that Trump repeatedly brought up the unproven allegation that while staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, he asked prostitutes to urinate on a bed previously used by the Obamas.
Trump denied the allegations in conversations with Comey, and said that he didn’t like how the claims affected the first lady, according to The Washington Post.
“I’m a germaphobe,” Trump told him in a phone call on Jan. 11, 2017, according to the book. “There’s no way I would let people pee on each other around me. No way.
Comey wrote that he warned the president looking into the claims could create the narrative that the FBI was investigating the president.
John Kelly threatened to resign over Comey’s firing
Comey wrote that shortly after news of his firing broke, he received an “emotional call” from then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
Kelly, now Trump’s chief of staff, said he intended to “quit in protest” because he “didn’t want to work for dishonorable people who would treat someone like (Comey) in such a manner,” Comey wrote.
Comey discouraged him from doing so, he wrote.
Kelly was named chief of staff a couple months later. He has frequently butted heads with the president in that role.
Obama comforted Comey after the election
Former President Obama reassured Comey shortly after the 2016 presidential election that he did his job well in handling the email case.
“I picked you to be FBI director because of your integrity and your ability,” Obama told Comey. “I want you to know that nothing — nothing — has happened in the last year to change my view.”
Comey wrote that he was on the verge of tears, and told the then-president that he was “just trying to do the right thing.”
Comey acknowledged in the book that his decision to disclose the status of the Clinton investigation may have been influenced by her status in the polls.
“Certainly not consciously, but I would be a fool to say it couldn’t have had an impact on me,” he wrote.
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