Monday, 16 April 2018

Trump Again Calls Comey A 'Slimeball' In Flurry Of Furious Tweets

Donald Trump hit out again at “slimeball” James Comey on Sunday with a characteristic flurry of furious early-morning tweets in which he also reiterated his concerns over the raid on the offices of his lawyer Michael Cohen.

Comey – whom Trump fired as director of the FBI in May last year because of his investigation into “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia” – is about to release a book about working for Trump, A Higher Loyalty, advance extracts from which have enraged the president. Comey will appear on Sunday night on ABC in his first televised interview to promote the book.

In his tweets on Sunday morning, Trump predicted that “slippery” Comey would “go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far”, claimed he was “not smart”, and took issue with several points raised by Comey in his book.

“Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe,” the president wrote on Twitter, a reference to Comey’s suggestion in A Higher Loyalty that his decision to announce the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server had been resumed was influenced by a belief the Democratic candidate was going to win the 2016 election.

“Assuming, as nearly everyone did, that Hillary Clinton would be elected president of the United States in less than two weeks, what would happen to the FBI, the justice department or her own presidency if it later was revealed, after the fact, that she still was the subject of an FBI investigation?” Comey asks in the book.

“In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job,” wrote Trump on Sunday. “Slimeball!”

Asked about this section of his book in a clip from the upcoming ABC interview released on Saturday, Comey said: “I don’t remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been because I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump, and so I’m sure that it was a factor.”

He added: “I don’t remember spelling it out, but it had to have been, that she’s going to be elected president and if I hide this from the American people, she’ll be illegitimate the moment she’s elected, the moment this comes out.”

Trump also rattled through a series of questions he said were not answered in what he called “Comey’s badly reviewed book”: “How come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?”

Comey said during congressional testimony last year that he helped to leak details of a memo about Trump to the New York Times, but he denied that it contained classified information.

“McCabe’s $700,000” refers to money given to the Virginia state senate campaign of Jill McCabe, the wife of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe from groups associated with Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, an ally of Clinton’s. Andrew McCabe, a frequent target of Trump’s attacks, was fired last month.

Trump also claimed he had never asked for Comey’s “Personal Loyalty” – contradicting a statement the ex-FBI chief made to the Senate intelligence committee in 2017, in which Comey claimed Trump had said to him: “I need loyalty.” The president also claimed contemporaneous memos Comey says he compiled of his meetings with Trump were “self serving and FAKE”.

Also weighing on Trump’s mind were the raids on the offices and home of his personal attorney Cohen, which some commentators have suggested may represent a more significant legal threat to Trump than the Russia collusion investigation that special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to lead after Comey’s firing.

Repeating criticisms he made immediately after the raids, Trump lamented: “Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past.”

And in a seeming response to reports he has had difficulty finding attorneys to represent him, the president added: “I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken.

“All lawyers are deflated and concerned!” he concluded.

Cohen is due to appear in federal court on Monday in New York for arguments over last week’s raids. His attorneys want prosecutors ordered to temporarily halt an examination of the seized material, arguing that it is protected by attorney-client privilege.

Comey issued a relatively rare tweet on Sunday, using the president’s favourite medium to get in a dig at his former boss.

“My book is about ethical leadership & draws on stories from my life & lessons I learned from others,” the former FBI chief wrote. “3 presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint.”

Meanwhile White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked on ABC on Sunday whether Trump had any plans to fire Mueller or his superior, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.

“I’m not aware of any plans to make those movements,” she said. But she added: “We do have some real concerns with some of the activities and some of the scope that the investigation has gone.”

She repeated her denial of collusion with Russia in its interference in the election, and said: “It really is getting time to move on.”

No comments:

Post a Comment