(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump launched a full-throated attack on James Comey, hours before the FBI director he fired in May will appear in a network television interview tied to the release of a book that describes the president in unfavorable terms.
“I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty. I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His ‘memos’ are self serving and FAKE!” Trump said on Twitter early Sunday, one of five Comey-related tweets of the morning.
“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!” Trump also said in what so far has been the final tweet on the subject.
Trump’s tweet storm comes ahead of a highly anticipated interview with Comey on ABC News to be broadcast on Sunday night. Comey will discuss his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” which is scheduled for release Tuesday. Excerpts have already been widely reported.
Comey, who ran the Federal Bureau of Investigations for almost four years, portrays the president in the book as a liar, dumb and rude, and he compares elements of Trump’s behavior to that of a Mafia boss.
The thought of having dinner alone with Trump at the White House made Comey “deeply uncomfortable,” he writes, because he feared that the president wanted to compromise the FBI’s integrity and independence and was waging “an effort to establish a patronage relationship” with him.
“My book is about ethical leadership & draws on stories from my life & lessons I learned from others,” Comey said on Twitter Sunday. “Three presidents are in my book: 2 help illustrate the values at the heart of ethical leadership; 1 serves as a counterpoint.”
The Republican National Committee has started an effort to discredit Comey on social media, in digital advertising, and through a website, lyincomey.com.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that Comey has a “credibility problem” and that firing him will go down as one of Trump’s greatest achievements.
“The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail),” Trump said in one of the tweets to his 51 million followers.
‘Out for Revenge’
Sunday, on ABC’s “This Week,” she said it was clear that Comey was a “leaker” by his own admission and “there is such a huge bipartisan consensus that James Comey doesn’t have credibility and shouldn’t have been leading the FBI any longer.”
Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who’s chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on Fox News Channel on Sunday that Comey was “out for revenge” against Trump.
But House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday that Comey was a man of integrity “as far as I know,” while adding that “I don’t know the guy.”
Asked whether Comey is someone he would describe as a slime ball -- a term Trump has used twice in tweets -- Ryan said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “I don’t speak like that. I don’t use words like that.”
In other tweets on Sunday, Trump bemoaned what he termed the end of attorney-client privilege after a raid on the office of his personal lawyer, and he criticized the media for seizing on his use of the term “Mission Accomplished” to describe Friday night’s air strikes on Syria.
Trump’s tweet on Saturday invited comparisons to President George W. Bush’s misplaced optimism about the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The words “Mission Accomplished” were displayed on a banner behind Bush during a speech from the deck of an aircraft carrier, in which he prematurely declared the end to major combat operations there.
“The Syrian raid was so perfectly carried out, with such precision, that the only way the Fake News Media could demean was by my use of the term ‘Mission Accomplished,’” Trump said Sunday. “I knew they would seize on this but felt it is such a great Military term, it should be brought back. Use often!”
Sanders took up the theme as well. “The mission that the U.S. military and our coalition forces with the U.K. and France went out to do, they 100 percent met their objectives,” she said on ABC.
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