James Comey memoir brings fresh turmoil for Trump
Donald Trump has described James Comey, the FBI director who he fired last May, as a “weak and untruthful slime ball” after the first leaks have emerged from Comey’s long-awaited memoir.
While the US President’s Twitter outburst is dramatic, it’s unlikely to have the impact of Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, which has US political analysts salivating ahead of its publication next week.
Stephen Collinson of CNN describes the advance copy he saw as “nothing less than the most devastating, contemporaneous takedown of a sitting president in modern history”.
Revenge is a dish best served cold, he says, and 11 months after he was fired by Trump, Comey’s 304-page memoir is “unsparing, richly detailed and mortifying for the President”.
He adds: “He painted Trump as a relentless liar who is obsessively unethical, devoid of humanity and a slave to his ego, who is clueless about his job and unconcerned about a Russian assault on American democracy.
“Jabbing the President in a strikingly personal way, Comey noted the size of Trum’s hands, said his skin looked orange and described white rings around his eyes from tanning goggles.”
The memoir will bring “fresh turmoil” to the White House, says The Guardian, which reports that Comey likens Trump’s presidency to a “forest fire” and repeatedly paints Trump as a “mafia-style boss”.
According to the BBC, the former FBI director describes Trump as “untethered to the truth” and unable to laugh because of his “deep insecurity… which, on reflection, is really very sad in a leader, and a little scary in a president”.
The book’s imminent release comes amid a media blitz by the former FBI director, which began on Friday when ABC aired part of an interview that will be shown on Sunday night.
“During the segment, Comey said he didn’t know whether to believe Trump’s denial that he had spent time with prostitutes in Moscow before he became president,” notes the paper.
In an attempt to limit the damage, Republicans are waging a “widespread campaign” to undercut Comey’s credibility, says The Washington Post.
Trump’s supporters are unimpressed. Fox News analyst Robert Charles describes the book as a “hatchet job” and accuses Comey of “petty criticism” and using “salacious slurs” in order to increase sales.
He adds: “It’s important for every fair-minded person to remember that just because Comey makes a charge, he is not speaking gospel truth – despite his inflated sense of virtue and self-importance.
“[The book] lowers the reputation of both the FBI and Comey, undermines the presidency and hurts the nation.”