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 Comey3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Barr predicts progressive prosecutors will lead to 'more crime, more victims' James Comey shows our criminal justice system works as intended 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 BarrWilliam Pelham BarrProsecutors are mainly to blame for the criminal justice crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE had misled Congress with his summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony 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 Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president 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 Papadopoulos10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Flynn, Papadopoulos to speak at event preparing 'social media warriors' for 'digital civil war' Judge dismisses DNC lawsuit against Trump campaign, Russia over election interference MORE, told an Australian official that Russia was in possession of damaging information related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE, the Democratic nominee. The tip was later passed on to the FBI.