7 striking findings from James Comey’s new book
Former FBI Director James Comey is poised to kick off a massive media blitz this weekend as he begins a highly anticipated tour for his new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.” But the former Trump administration official, whose ouster remains shrouded in intrigue, began nabbing headlines on Thursday as portions of his book were released to news outlets.
Comey sat down for five hours with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos this week for an exclusive interview, an edited version of which is set to air Sunday night, the first in a series of prominent appearances poised to dominate news cycles. Other stops on Comey’s jam-packed April tour include a “Late Show” appearance on Tuesday, a sit-down with the co-hosts of “The View” on Wednesday and a CNN town hall on April 25.
Story Continued Below
Though Comey’s book is not set to hit newsstands until Tuesday, numerous publications had obtained either sneak peeks or full copies of the book by Thursday evening.
Here’s a look at some of the most eye-catching claims in Comey’s book.
Trump asked Comey to look into allegations in the so-called Trump-Russia dossier
The former FBI director writes in his book that the president asked him to look into the uncorroborated allegations from the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele that Trump hired prostitutes to urinate in front of him in a Moscow hotel room where President Barack Obama had stayed, according to a copy obtained by the New York Post. Trump, according to the report, expressed interest in digging into the claims out of concern that his wife, first lady Melania Trump, might believe them.
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ … adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a 1 percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey reportedly writes in “A Higher Loyalty.”
He added: “He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn’t possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. I said it was up to him.”
Comey cites a ‘development still unknown’ about Loretta Lynch in seizing a public role in Hillary Clinton probe
Comey discusses at length in the book his handling of the federal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
According to ABC News, the former FBI director felt compelled to take a prominent public role in the investigation into Clinton in part because of a “development still unknown to the American public to this day” about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch that he feared critics would use to raise doubts about the integrity of the investigation.
Comey writes in the book that in early 2016, the U.S. government obtained information from a classified source regarding Lynch. He writes that “the source and content of that material remains classified as I write this.”
Comey does not elaborate on what the information is. But he adds: “Had it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation.”
The former FBI director reportedly writes, however, that he did not sense that Lynch interfered with the inquiry, despite her highly scrutinized tarmac exchange in Phoenix, Arizona, with former President Bill Clinton. But Comey cited the episode as a rationale for assuming a larger public profile in the investigation.
Former FBI director was wary of Trump’s seeming calls for loyalty
Comey writes that he felt concerned about the president’s priorities after he and other top intelligence officials briefed Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and several top aides on Russian meddling efforts a few weeks before the inauguration.
According the ABC News report, Comey says that instead of inquiring about the threat from Russia, Trump and his team appeared more focused on “how they could spin what we’d just told them” and discussing “how to position these findings for maximum political advantage.”
“I sat there thinking, Holy crap, they are trying to make each of us ‘amica nostra’ — friend of ours. To draw us in,” Comey writes. “As crazy as it sounds, I suddenly had the feeling that, in the blink of an eye, the president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family and that Team Trump had made it a ‘thing of ours.’”
Comey calls Trump ‘untethered to truth,’ depicts his leadership as mafia-esque
In his forthcoming book, Comey hammers the president’s ethics and leadership, calling him “untethered to truth” and his management “ego driven and about personal loyalty,” according to The Associated Press.
Comey, who was dismissed by the president last May amid a federal investigation into Russian election interference and ties to Trump campaign officials, casts the president’s influence on his decision-making in a negative light. He frames Trump as someone seeking to pressure him regarding the Russia inquiry.
Comey’s remarks on the investigation are likely to be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller, his mentor and predecessor atop the bureau, who is reportedly looking into whether Trump has obstructed justice by impeding federal inquiries into Russia meddling in 2016.