Sat, Apr 14, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Former FBI director’s book blasts ‘ego-driven’ Trump

AP, WASHINGTON

Former FBI director James Comey blasts US President Donald Trump as unethical and “untethered to truth” in a sharply critical new book that describes Trump as fixated in the early days of his administration on having the FBI debunk salacious rumors he insisted were untrue, but could distress his wife.

In the forthcoming book, Comey compares Trump with a mafia don and calls his leadership of the country “ego driven and about personal loyalty.”

He also reveals new details about his interactions with Trump and his own decisionmaking in handling the Hillary Rodham Clinton e-mail investigation before the 2016 presidential election. He casts Trump as a mobster-like figure who sought to blur the line between law enforcement and politics, and tried to pressure him personally regarding his investigation into Russian election interference.

The book adheres closely to Comey’s public testimony and written statements about his contacts with Trump and his growing concern about Trump’s integrity. It also includes strikingly personal jabs at Trump that appear sure to irritate the president.

The 2.03m-tall Comey describes Trump as shorter than he expected with a “too long” tie and “bright white half-moons” under his eyes that he suggests came from tanning goggles.

He also says he made a conscious effort to check the president’s hand size, saying it was “smaller than mine but did not seem unusually so.”

The book, A Higher Loyalty, is to be released next week. The Associated Press purchased a copy this week.

“Donald Trump’s presidency threatens much of what is good in this nation,” Comey writes, calling the administration a “forest fire” that cannot be contained by ethical leaders within the government.

On a more-personal level, Comey describes Trump as repeatedly asking him to consider investigating an allegation involving Trump and Russian prostitutes urinating on a bed in a Moscow hotel, to prove it was a lie.

Trump has strongly denied the allegation, and Comey says that it appeared the president wanted it investigated to reassure his wife, Melania Trump.

Trump fired Comey in May last year, setting off a scramble at the US Department of Justice that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation. Mueller’s probe has expanded to include whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, which the president denies.

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