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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 ComeyThe FBI should turn off the FARA faucet Barr threatened to resign over Trump attempts to fire Wray: report 'Fox News Sunday' to mark 25 years on air 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."

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“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 BarrBill BarrSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Lawyer for former officer charged in George Floyd death alleges witness coercion CNN legal analyst joins DOJ's national security division MORE had misled Congress with his summary 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 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 TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez 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 PapadopoulosTrump supporters show up to DC for election protest Trump pardons draw criticism for benefiting political allies Klobuchar: Trump 'trying to burn this country down on his way out' MORE, told an Australian official that Russia was in possession of damaging information related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCongress won't end the wars, so states must Democrats say it's up to GOP to stop Trump 2024 Hillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit MORE, the Democratic nominee. The tip was later passed on to the FBI.