Administration

Comey friend: Nothing scarier to Trump than someone who tells the truth

Greg Nash

One of James Comey’s friends is praising the former FBI director and warning that nothing is scarier to President Trump than someone who tells the truth and is always willing to do the right thing.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, called Comey a “highly honorable and decent person.”

He also said the former FBI director is without “subtext” and will always explain his thinking if its appropriate to discuss.

“In the world of President Trump, we really want people who aren’t going to lie,” he wrote. “We want people who can sit in front of a congressional committee for hours and, however mad they may make us, never give us reason to doubt that they are telling the truth as they see it.”

Wittes said Comey has an “unfailing instinct to fall on every grenade,” calling it a “highly unusual trait in Washington, a town where lots of people dodge responsibility for everything.”
 
“When one person has an instinct to fall on grenades and everyone else has an instinct to flee from them, it’s not surprising when that one person ends up dealing with all the explosives,” he wrote.
 
{mosads}Wittes added that Comey is “genuinely fixated on independence and doing the right thing.”
 
“Whatever you think of Mr. Comey’s judgment, he will do what he believes to be right, whomever it might help or hurt politically and whatever damage it might do to him and his reputation,” he wrote. 

“Who else can you say that about?”

Wittes wrote that he expects people will miss “those very features of Mr. Comey that so many Americans have come to hate over the past year.”

“And it is, I believe, those very features that led Mr. Trump to fire the F.B.I. director,” he added.

“Because at the end of the day, Americans need someone to count on to tell the truth (even if a bit too much of it and at the wrong moment), who will take responsibility as others duck it (even if that sometimes looks self-centered and preening) and who will do the right thing as he sees it whatever the cost (even if the cost to himself and the country is terrible),” he continued.

“If you’re President Trump, there’s nothing scarier than such a person.”

The president last week fired Comey in a move that sparked controversy and outrage in Washington.

On Twitter, the president said Comey had lost the confidence of “almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike.”

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