UPDATE: Comey memos leaked to press after book release

UPDATE — 4/20, 11:56 p.m. EDT: Fifteen pages of memos authored by then-FBI Director James Comey describing seven private interactions with President Trump in 2017 have been leaked after being sent to various congressional committees on Thursday. 

Specifically, Comey documents how Trump often brought up the issue of White House leaks and how “we need to go after the reporters” and even referenced the threat of putting “(reporters) in jail to find out what they know.”

Trump also frequently referenced the Michael Steele dossier, denying the allegations about a 2013 Moscow trip, specifically “golden showers”, and “prostitutes”, although he told Comey President Vladimir Putin said Russia had “some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.”

Read the Comey memos here (PDF file)

 

On Thursday afternoon, the GOP struck a blow against former FBI Director James Comey who was fired by President Trump in May 2017, ostensibly over his handling of the Russia investigation.

In a tweet, the Republican Party launched what some are calling a preemptive strike designed to cast doubt on the integrity and honesty of Mr. Comey, ahead of the release of his book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership”.

The tweet links to a newly minted website, titled Lyin’ Comey, which prominently displays quotes from Democrats — culled from the fallout of Comey’s reopening of the Clinton email investigation during the 2016 campaign — to support the GOP’s assertions that Comey is dishonest and was unfit for office.

The rollout of the website by the GOP was followed Friday morning by tweets from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Trump attacking Comey’s credibility:

Although Comey’s book will not be released to the public until April 17, numerous news organizations have obtained copies.

According to reporting by Stephen Collinson of CNN, “(The book) is nothing less than the most devastating, contemporaneous takedown of a sitting president in modern history.”

Philip Rucker of the Washington Post states:

“Comey paints a devastating portrait of a president who built ‘a cocoon of alternative reality that he was busily wrapping around all of us.’ Comey describes Trump as a congenital liar and unethical leader, devoid of human emotion and driven by personal ego.”

While it’s unclear what damage if any, the Comey memoir may do to the president’s approval ratings, it appears that the Republican Party will continue its full-throated attacks on Mr. Comey in an effort to at least dull the impact of the public release and the myriad interviews Comey has scheduled over the coming weeks.

 

[ABC News] [Washington Times] [CNN] [Washington Post] [Photo courtesy CNN]

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