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 ComeyRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes Republicans set sights on FBI chief as Russia probe investigations ramp up The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement 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 BarrHow would a Biden Justice Department be different? Joe Biden played it safe Kamala Harris: The right choice at the right time MORE had misled Congress with his summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' 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 says he would consider pardons for those implicated in Mueller investigation New FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification Republicans plow ahead with Russia origins probe MORE, told an Australian official that Russia was in possession of damaging information related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden, Harris make first public appearance as running mates Trump campaign spox rips GOP congressman over rejection of QAnon conspiracy Biden hits back after Trump's attacks on Harris MORE, the Democratic nominee. The tip was later passed on to the FBI.