President Trump on Friday blasted James Comey as a “LEAKER & LIAR” who “should be prosecuted” after the former FBI director’s book portrayed Trump as a power-hungry man unfit for the presidency.
In a pair of tweets, Trump accused Comey of leaking classified information and lying to Congress “under OATH” about it.
“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired,” Trump wrote.
Trump continued in a follow-up tweet, calling Comey a “weak and untruthful slime ball” and saying it was “my great honor to fire James Comey!”
The president appears to be referring to reports that memos Comey wrote about his conversations with him contained classified information. Comey shared one of the memos with a friend in order to leak it to the media, but Comey said it did not contain classified material.
Trump’s comments are his first response to explosive excerpts from Comey’s new book, “A Higher Loyalty,” which were released Thursday evening.
He tweeted minutes after Comey appeared on ABC News’s “Good Morning America” and said it is “possible” that the “pee tape,” a salacious claim made in the so-called Steele dossier of opposition research on Trump, exists.
Comey’s tell-all book details what he describes as Trump’s “mob”-like approach to his job and likens his presidency to a “forest fire” that must be contained.
“This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values,” Comey writes. “His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty.”
Trump and his allies have mounted an effort to discredit Comey, who is on a sweeping media tour to sell the book.
Before Trump’s tweet, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote on Twitter that “one of the few areas of true bipartisan consensus in Washington is Comey has no credibility.”
Her message contained a link to a Republican National Committee-produced video
containing footage of Democratic lawmakers criticizing Comey’s handling of the investigation Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State.
Trump fired Comey last May, citing the way he conducted the investigation against his Democratic opponent in the 2016 election.
But days later, Trump said in an interview with NBC News that “this Russia thing” was on his mind when he fired Comey — referring to the federal investigation into Moscow’s interference in the presidential election.
Comey’s firing helped lead to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to direct the probe.
Avery Anapol contributed to this story
Updated at 8:59 a.m.