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Comey takes a swipe at Trump in plug for new book

16 April 2018

In his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee previous year, Comey said he believes the President asked him to "drop any investigation of Flynn", a reference to former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The comments were made in Comey's first interview since writing his book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership", which is scheduled for release Tuesday.

His comments will nearly certainly escalate his war of words with the president and further erode a relationship marked by open hostility and name-calling.

Trump wanted Comey to assure him that the election was fair. He also fumed about Mueller, and considered firing the special counsel, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose recusal from the Russian Federation probe led to Mueller's appointment by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

Comey claims that at the beginning of Trump's term, the new president told him, "I need loyalty".

'You can't say for certain that the president of the United States is not compromised by the Russians?' pressed Stephanopoulos.

"I didn't see any indication that Loretta Lynch was trying to cover this investigation for the Clinton campaign or direct me in any way", Comey said. "Just another of his many lies", Trump said on Twitter.

"It is stunning and I wish I wasn't saying it, but it's just- it's the truth", Comey said. There is no indication Comey is under investigation for doing either. While Stephanopoulos suggested he might not have known it, the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director said, "Maybe".

Trump's tweets also contained increasingly incendiary charges against his Democratic Party opponents.

Comey said he took that as a "direction", adding it is possibly obstruction of justice.

Many Democrats blame his decision to reopen the probe - just 11 days before the 2016 election - for Mrs Clinton's defeat.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the ABC interview reaffirms that Comey's "higher loyalty is to himself".

"Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary (Clinton) was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe".

"So (in) what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think there's only a 99 percent chance you didn't do that?"

Mr Comey was sacked in May 2017, with officials accusing him of mishandling the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email address.

Lynch says she was simply following long-standing Justice Department protocol against confirming or denying the existence of an investigation. In addition to looking into whether the campaign colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election, Mueller is also examining whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired Comey past year.

Two Republican and two Democratic senators introduced a bill to make it more hard and time-consuming for Trump to fire Mueller, titled the "Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act", last week.

In an attempt to delegitimize the intelligence community's ongoing Russian Federation investigation, conservatives have asserted that the FBI only began its investigation into the Trump campaign because of the Steele dossier, a controversial memo based on investigative efforts funded first by Republican opponents of Trump and then by Democrats. Flynn and two of the president's campaign aides, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with Mueller.

Trump told Comey that he had not stayed overnight in the Moscow hotel and that the claims related to the prostitutes were not true, Comey said.

Comey takes a swipe at Trump in plug for new book