Politics

Trump Continues Attack on Comey, Again Defends Flynn

President lashes out after leaks of fired FBI director’s memos about him

Then-FBI director James B. Comey testifyies before a Senate panel in 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday defended former national security adviser Michael Flynn and slammed former FBI Director James B. Comey, implying his own Justice Department should have blocked publication of the latter’s memoir.

The Friday morning tweet followed several from Thursday evening ripping into Comey as the former FBI boss continues a book tour that already has seen him describe the president as a habitual liar who is “morally unfit” for the Oval Office. Comey also has said Russia might have the ability to blackmail Trump, called for the president to be voted out in 2020, and left open the possibility that Trump is guilty of obstructing justice.

Comey’s unflattering portrait of Trump, spelled out in memos he wrote after their interactions before the president fired him last year that were leaked Thursday night, has gotten under the president’s skin.

Trump griped again Friday that Flynn’s “life can be totally destroyed while Shadey [sic] James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written),” implying FBI and Justice Department officials who reviewed and cleared the memoir should have rejected it — even though much of the book is about Comey’s pre-Trump career.

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The president then repeated his contention that Flynn’s saga — he has pleaded guilty to a crime related to Russia and is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller — somehow erodes the way an American life should go.

“Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don’t think so!” Trump tweeted of Flynn possibly facing prison time while Comey profits off his memoir.

Late Thursday night, Trump lashed out at Comey after the memos he says he crafted after interactions with the president while still FBI director were leaked after House Republicans threatened to subpoena embattled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had possession of the Comey missives.

The president, shortly before midnight, tweeted that the memos “show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION.”

Those tweets come days after the president used Twitter to label Comey a slime ball” and alleged he lied under oath last year before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

But the documents show Trump pressed Comey mostly about a dossier of information about his activities in Moscow, including allegations he watched prostitutes urinate on a hotel suite bed the Obamas slept in while visiting the Russian capital.

The former FBI director, who Trump fired, said the president at one point during a meeting contended “there were no prostitutes; there were never prostitutes” during a 2013 trip to Moscow. But he also blurted out a contention that Russian President Vladimir Putin once told him Russian prostitutes are “the most beautiful hookers in the world.”

The memos also contend Trump harbored “serious reservations” about Flynn while also feeling loyalty to him.

“In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said 'the guy has serious judgment issues,'" Comey writes in one memo, according to media outlets who obtained them. “I did not comment at any point during this topic and there was no mention or acknowledgment of any FBI interest or contact with General Flynn.”

But Comey alleges the president also told him this: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

On Thursday night, Trump tweeted Comey allegedly “leaked classified information. WOW! Will the Witch Hunt continue?”

He did not elaborate on what information was deemed classified that Comey has disclosed in Senate testimony, his book, television and print interviews, and previous memos he had a friend leak shortly after his firing.

The president, at his south Florida resort following a mini-summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was fired up Friday morning. He also lashed out at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and OPEC, the powerful group of Middle East oil-producing countries that often exert major influence over global oil prices.

As he has done at recent public events — but with some signature Twitter insults — the president said the California Democrat “is going absolutely crazy about the big Tax Cuts given to the American People by the Republicans.”

He then laid out what he contends is the “choice” voters have in November’s congressional elections: “They want to end them and raise your taxes substantially. Republicans are working on making them permanent and more cuts!”

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this week, however, found just 27 percent of those surveyed see the tax law as a good idea. The tax rate cut and code overhaul law has not, so far, become the election-year boost Trump and Republicans had hoped.

And on OPEC, the president tweeted that there are “fully loaded ships at sea” and “Oil prices are artificially Very High!” Without disclosing what he might to in retaliation to the oil-rich countries’ alleged actions, he added: “No good and will not be accepted!”

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