GOP senator calls Comey a 'hack politician' who 'knows what's coming'

GOP senator calls Comey a 'hack politician' who 'knows what's coming'
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) tore into former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHuckabee teases Hannity appearance, says he'll explain why Trump is eligible for third term Five takeaways on Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill Horowitz offers troubling picture of FBI's Trump campaign probe MORE on Wednesday, accusing the former law enforcement official of being a "hack politician" and suggesting he was headed for his own legal troubles.

Kennedy went after Comey in an interview on Fox News, hours after the former FBI director told "CBS This Morning" that GOP lawmakers should "breathe into a paper bag" and stop making accusations that the FBI conducted "spying" on the Trump campaign in 2016.

"I think it's clear to most Americans that Mr. Comey is not and never was a law enforcement professional," the Republican senator said. "He's just a hack politician. It doesn't give me any joy to say that."

ADVERTISEMENT

“Mr. Comey and others tried to put their thumbs on the scale and he has hurt a lot of people and he has hurt a lot of important institutions to our system of government in the process,” Kennedy added. “I think Mr. Comey is lashing out now because he knows what’s coming.”

The GOP senator also pushed back during the interview against Democrats' accusations that Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrHolder rips into William Barr: 'He is unfit to lead the Justice Department' Five takeaways on Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? MORE had misled Congress with his summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts MORE's probe, an assertion he called "ludicrous."

Comey had blasted Barr during the CBS interview for comments the attorney general made during a Senate hearing earlier this year when he declared that he believed "spying" had occurred targeting President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE's campaign during the 2016 election.

"Yeah, I have no idea what he's talking about. The FBI doesn't spy, the FBI investigates," Comey said Wednesday. "We investigated a very serious allegation, that Americans might be hooked up with the Russian effort to attack our democracy."

"The Republicans need to breathe into a paper bag," Comey added in the interview. "If we had confronted the same facts with a different candidate, say, a Democratic candidate, where one of their advisers was talking to a foreign adversary's representative, about that adversary interfering in our election, they'd be screaming for the FBI to investigate it."

Republicans, including Trump, have accused Comey and other members of the intelligence and law enforcement community of initiating surveillance measures against the Trump campaign without proper reasoning, arguing that the FBI's probe into Russia's election interference was predicated on an unverified dossier funded by the Clinton campaign.

GOP lawmakers have signaled they intend to look into surveillance by FBI agents. The Justice Department's inspector general is also probing the FBI's compliance with procedures and laws during the probe.

Comey and other law enforcement officials have maintained that the investigation began after a former Trump campaign aide, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFive takeaways on Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill DOJ watchdog: Durham said 'preliminary' FBI Trump probe was justified Trump can't cry foul on FISA – unless he's suddenly a civil libertarian MORE, told an Australian official that Russia was in possession of damaging information related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden hires Clinton, O'Rourke alum as campaign's digital director Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll Clinton tweets impeachment website, encourages voters to 'see the evidence for themselves' MORE, the Democratic nominee. The tip was later passed on to the FBI.