President Donald Trump on Friday said former FBI director James Comey should be prosecuted, right as Good Morning America ran a segment of Comey revealing his conversations with the president about allegations Trump was once “with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow.”
Trump also called him a “slime ball.”
Comey’s segment is part of his book tour, which is getting underway this week. In the book, Comey discusses the "golden showers thing" and compares Trump to a mafia boss. His full interview with ABC News will be aired Sunday night.
“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and.....” Trump tweeted.
About 15 minutes later, Trump finished his thought, “....untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”
The White House continued to attack the former FBI director during a press briefing Friday, where White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called him a "disgraced partisan hack."
"The American people see right through the blatant lies of a self-admitted leaker," Sanders said. "This is nothing more than a poorly executed PR stunt by Comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation and enrich his own bank account by peddling a book that belongs in the bargain bin."
Sanders repeatedly criticized Comey, as well as reporters who have been covering the revelations of the upcoming book.
"We shouldn't be praising him," she said. "We should be putting him down and him off air."
Comey told ABC News that on Jan. 27, 2017, Trump, in a “really weird” conversation, discussed the so-called dossier with him, specifically that he wanted the FBI to investigate it “to prove that it didn't happen.”
“And then he says something that distracted me, because he said, you know, ‘If there's even a 1% chance my wife thinks that's true, that's terrible,’” Comey said.
“And I remember thinking, How could your wife think there's a 1% chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?” Comey told George Stephanopoulos.
“I'm a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true. So, what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think [that] there's only a 99% chance you didn't do that?” Comey said.
Comey said he warned Trump against investigating the allegations because “it might create a narrative that we're investigating you personally” and it would be “difficult to prove something didn't happen.”
When Comey initially briefed him on the allegations contained in the dossier, he said Trump got defensive and said to him, “Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?”
“I didn't answer that, and I just moved on and explained, ‘Sir, I'm not saying that we credit this, I'm not saying we believe it. We just thought it very important that you know,’” Comey told ABC News.
Comey said that at the time he was fired, the allegation was “unverified.”
He said he told Trump, “I'm not saying that I believe the allegations.” Comey added, “I never said, ‘I don't believe it,’ because I couldn't say one way or another.”
Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the past Democratic vice presidential candidate, also discussed the book on BuzzFeed News's AM to DM morning show on Friday. "Of all the things that are troubling me these days, that’s kind of at the bottom of the list. But it’s pretty amazing that we are actually talking about that in connection with someone who is the President of the United States," he said.
Asked whether it troubles him that the former FBI director was asked to look into the dossier, Kaine said that he hasn’t read the book, only seen excepts, but said that he has "heard that the president, in the account of James Comey, has these weird obsessions with proving that this is right or disproving that — things that should be unrelated to the job that a president is doing every day.”
Asked about Comey’s acknowledgement that his decision to re-open the Hillary Clinton email probe may have been influenced by the assumption that she would win the election, Kaine said he’s "trying to put that in the review mirror.”
"I’ve said it before: I think Jim Comey is a good man who made a big blunder,” Kaine continued. "There were rules, which were, ‘Don’t talk about pending investigations, and ‘Don’t inject controversy into the election.' He followed the rules with respect to Donald Trump and he didn’t follow the rules when it came to Hillary Clinton. So there was clearly a double-standard going on.”
Kaine called it “frustrating,” but said "it is what it is.”
"And now those of us in the Senate have a job that is much more important than it was before Donald Trump was elected president,” he said.
Thumbnail images from AP/Alex Brandon; AP/Evan Vucci
Tom Namako is the deputy news director for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Tom Namako at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cora Lewis is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Cora Lewis at email@example.com.
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