Former FBI Director James Comey reportedly once tried to blend into the curtains in the White House Blue Room in order to avoid being approached by President Trump.
According to a New York Times report published Thursday, Comey tried to blend into the Blue Room's blue curtains during a White House visit for a ceremony honoring law enforcement officials who provided security at the inauguration.
Comey recounted the incident to his friend, Brookings Institution fellow Benjamin Wittes, who told the story to the Times. Comey, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, was wearing a dark blue suit and stood near the similarly colored curtains in the back of the room, hoping that Trump would not spot him.
“He thought he had gotten through and not been noticed or singled out and that he was going to get away without an individual interaction,” Wittes told the Times.
However, Comey was spotted by the president, who called out to him and joked he had become "more famous" than himself. Trump went in for a hug when Comey was reportedly trying to only give Trump a handshake.
“Comey said that as he was walking across the room he was determined that there wasn’t going to be a hug,” Wittes said. “It was bad enough there was going to be a handshake. And Comey has long arms so Comey said he pre-emptively reached out for a handshake and grabbed the president’s hand. But Trump pulled him into an embrace and Comey didn’t reciprocate. If you look at the video, it’s one person shaking hands and another hugging.”
The encounter was captured on video.
The Times report mostly went into Comey's experience with the president leading up to his abrupt firing last week. Comey reportedly tried to distance himself from Trump to ensure the FBI's independence from the White House.