TrumpWatch, Day 448: Trump Faces Comey Revelations

Donald Trump with then-FBI Director James Comey (File)

Former FBI director portrays Trump as inept, lying narcissist

Developments on Day 448 of the Trump Administration:

See also Podcast: What to Expect from Secretary of State Pompeo?

Comey Compares Trump to Mafia Boss

UPDATE, 1845 GMT: Donald Trump has unleashed his response to the extracts from James Comey’s forthcoming book:


Donald Trump and his advisors are bracing themselves for damaging revelations in the memoir of James Comey, the FBI Director fired by Trump last May in an attempt to halt the Trump-Russia investigation.

Extracts from the book circulated on Thursday afternoon, with Comey depicting Trump as a relentless liar who is obsessively unethical, void of humanity, enslaved by his ego, and inept in his job.

The former director said Trump reminded him of Mafia figures whom Comey prosecuted: “The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.”

Comey says he was struck that neither Trump nor his advisors asked US intelligence officials at a meeting in Trump Tower “about what the future Russian threat might be. Nor did they ask how the United States might prepare itself to meet that threat.”

But he is careful in reamrks about the Trump-Russia investigation. He repeats his claim, made in Congressional hearings, that Trump asked him to avoid pursuit of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; however, he does not declare obstruction of justice: “I have one perspective on the behavior I saw, which while disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership, may fall short of being illegal.”

Comey summarizes, “What is happening now is not normal….It is not fake news. It is not okay.”

The Republican Party has already set up a high-profile attack on Comey. It is publicizing a website, Lyin’ Comey, to demean the former director and try to scuttle his claims.

On its homepage, the site features quotes by top Democrats, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, about Comey’s credibility. It does not mention the context for those remarks: Comey’s decision in October 2016, weeks before the Presidential election, to reveal that the FBI had re-opened an investigation into Clinton’s e-mails.

The site also features a tweet by Trump calling Comey a liar:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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