President Donald Trump on Monday continued his effort to discredit James Comey, the morning after a nationally televised interview during which the former FBI director lambasted him.
Trump spent several hours Sunday morning ripping Comey ahead of a hour-long primetime interview Sunday night on ABC in which Comey said Trump is “morally unfit” for his office, lies constantly, should be voted out in 2020, and might have obstructed justice.
The president was back at it Monday morning, slamming the FBI director he fired last year — and admitted thinking of the Justice Department’s Russia election meddling probe in doing so — over his handling of the Hillary Clinton email case.
Trump on Monday again alleged that while FBI director Comey prematurely decided he would not recommend his Justice Department bosses prosecute Clinton over her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The president contended Comey “lied in Congress to Senator G[raham]” and “then based his decisions on her poll numbers.”
During the much-anticipated television interview that marks the official start of a nationwide tour to promote his new memoir “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey acknowledged that even on Election Night, he expected Clinton would defeat Trump. He said, like others, he expected Clinton would win throughout the general election, saying he was seeing the same polling data that led many political experts to predict she would be the 45th president. But he denied making decisions about the email probe based on that expectation.
“If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done,” he said. “We’re no longer that group in America that is apart from the partisans, and that can be trusted.”
In his book, according to leaked excerpts, Comey wrote he might have subconsciously viewed her as the next president.
In the Monday tweet, Trump accused Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, whom he also fired, of being “Disgruntled,” alleging they and other FBI officials collectively “committed many crimes!” (The president did not specify which crimes he believes Comey and other committed. He often makes such charges without elaborating.)
Comey drafted the Crooked Hillary exoneration long before he talked to her (lied in Congress to Senator G), then based his decisions on her poll numbers. Disgruntled, he, McCabe, and the others, committed many crimes!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2018
On Sunday, Trump fired off several tweets slamming Comey before spending a few hours at his golf club in Northern Virginia. In one, he dubbed the former FBI boss “Slippery James Comey,” calling him “a man who always ends up badly and out of whack.” Comey, he wrote, “is not smart!,” adding he “will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”
In another Sunday post, Trump latched onto Comey’s admission in the book he might have subconsciously expected Clinton to win.
“In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job,” Trump wrote, then again calling his foe the same name he did on Friday: “Slimeball!”
Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe. In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job. Slimeball!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2018
Slippery James Comey, a man who always ends up badly and out of whack (he is not smart!), will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 15, 2018
As Trump and Comey trade insults and differing accounts of events in which both were involved, the public, so far at least, is siding with the fired FBI director.
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll show 48 percent of those surveyed believe Comey was more believable than Trump, while 32 percent said the president was more believable.