Allies of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE took to Twitter on Thursday to blast former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE after a Justice Department watchdog released a scathing report which found he violated bureau policies with his handling of official memos, including one that contained classified information.
“We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement,” the inspector general report states while adding that “much of the content of the Memos was directly tied to FBI investigative activities.”
Comey shared the memos with a friend, who gave the contents to a New York Times reporter.
Comey responded to the report on Twitter by pointing out that it did not find that he leaked classified information to the media. Comey tweeted that he didn't need "a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a 'sorry we lied about you' would be nice."
DOJ IG "found no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media." I don’t need a public apology from those who defamed me, but a quick message with a “sorry we lied about you” would be nice.— James Comey (@Comey) August 29, 2019
His tweet brought a flood of critical responses from the president's allies.
Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamA pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Senators preview bill to stop tech giants from prioritizing their own products MORE (R-S.C.) called the report a "stunning and unprecedented rebuke."
The Inspector General’s report is a stunning and unprecedented rebuke of a former Director of the FBI.— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) August 29, 2019
Kayleigh McEnany, a spokeswoman for President Trump's reelection campaign, highlighted critical portions of the watchdog report.
This is EXTRAORDINARY! Inspector General found that Jim Comey...— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 29, 2019
* “failed to live up to... responsibility”
* “set a dangerous example”
* did not “safeguard sensitive information” & “used it to create public pressure for official action”@realDonaldTrump was RIGHT to fire him!
A number of conservative media figures also piled on. Commentator Dan Bongino said Comey was "celebrating" a report that highlighted his "disregard for the rules."
Comey celebrating a report, which clearly lays out his ethical depravity and disregard for the rules of his employment, is the Comiest Comey thing ever. What a clown this guy is.— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) August 29, 2019
And conservative Buck Sexton knocked Comey as "self-righteous bureaucrat."
So James Comey was- it’s official now- a sanctimonious, self-righteous bureaucrat who believed in holding other people to standards that he himself was free to break when he saw fit— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) August 29, 2019
This should surprise no one
James Comey vs. Reality pic.twitter.com/Ce5pqg4gjz— Caleb Hull(@CalebJHull) August 29, 2019
Ben Shapiro mocked Comey by referring to a viral photo the former FBI chief shared of himself in a forest after Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBannon's subpoena snub sets up big decision for Biden DOJ Five takeaways: Report details Trump's election pressure campaign Biden slips further back to failed China policies MORE shared the findings of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's investigation with Congress.
There is only one way for James Comey to fight this report: by releasing a photo of himself staring at the ocean https://t.co/0aeDkMPjav— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 29, 2019
There was also criticism from other quarters, with Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume saying Comey owed an apology for his actions.
So Comey wants an apology because while he violated department policy and his contractual obligations by leaking, he didn’t leak classified info. How about a “sorry I leaked that information in violation of both policy and my contract?” https://t.co/Ny3Oxe8p7t— Brit Hume (@brithume) August 29, 2019
And journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept, called the report "devastating" to Comey's reputation.
In the report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz declined to make a recommendation as to whether to charge Comey.
Comey was fired by President Trump in May 2017 as his agency investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election. Questions about whether Trump was seeking to obstruct an investigation led shortly after to the special counsel probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.