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 ComeyBiden is the least electable candidate — here's why Top Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann lands book deal Trump to appear on 'Meet the Press' for first time as president 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 BarrThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Anticipation high ahead of first debate Attorney General Barr plays bagpipes at conference The Hill's Morning Report - Democratic debates: Miami nice or spice? MORE had misled Congress with his summary of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTop Republican considered Mueller subpoena to box in Democrats Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump 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 Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again 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 PapadopoulosInquiry into origins of Russia investigation is a scam Trump accuses Democrats of crime amid rising calls for impeachment Comey: Trump peddling 'dumb lies' MORE, told an Australian official that Russia was in possession of damaging information related to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again Don't expect Trump-sized ratings for Democratic debates Ocasio-Cortez on Biden: 'I think that he's not a pragmatic choice' MORE, the Democratic nominee. The tip was later passed on to the FBI.