By Eileen Sullivan
WASHINGTON – President Trump, in a pair of tweets Friday, called former FBI Director-turned-tell-all author James B. Comey an “untruthful slime ball” and a “proven LEAKER & LIAR” and said it was “my great honor to fire” him, a day after excerpts from Comey’s book were shared before its release next week.
In the book, Comey writes, “This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.”
The insult slinging has officially begun, and neither Trump nor Comey minced their words.
Trump’s face appeared “slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles,” Comey writes.
Comey is “weak,” and was a “terrible Director,” Trump said.
Trump fired Comey in May, a decision that eventually led to the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Russia’s 2016 election meddling and whether Trump has deliberately tried to obstruct the investigation.
The former FBI chief’s much-anticipated 304-page memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” is scheduled to be released next week. ABC’s “20/20” is set to air an interview with Comey on Sunday. It is the first major memoir by one of the key characters in the Trump administration.
In his book, Comey reflects on his days as a mob prosecutor in New York and compares Trump to a Mafia boss: “The silent circle of assent. 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 also describes a January 2017 dinner where he said that Trump asked him for a loyalty pledge, an episode that was reported by multiple news organizations last year.
Trump and Comey have previously exchanged angry tweets, but the president’s posts Friday morning were the first on the matter since details of the book were released.
Republican allies of Trump’s have planned a counteroffensive and created a “Lyin’ Comey” website aimed at discrediting the former FBI chief.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tweeted early Friday that Comey “has no credibility.”
Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s advisers, hit on the same theme.
“We find that Mr. Comey has a revisionist view of history and seems like a disgruntled ex-employee,” Conway said Friday. “After all, he was fired.”