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Rep. Trey Gowdy says Comey memoir is ‘beneath the dignity’ of FBI
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Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) recently appeared on Fox News, and, as usual, he didn’t mince words.
Gowdy rebuked former FBI director James Comey in his interview on Saturday for Comey’s soon to be released tell-all memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, calling it “sad” and “beneath the dignity” of the FBI.
“I think it’s sad.”
Since being fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017, Comey has largely avoided making public appearances, and he appears to have spent his alone time writing a book detailing his experience as head of the FBI. The book, which is scheduled to be released later this week, has brought Comey’s name back to headlines — and the Fox & Friends newsroom, where Gowdy weighed in on Friday.
“I think it’s sad,” Gowdy said of Comey’s choice to publish the book. According to Gowdy, he and Comey once agreed that politics needs to be kept out of the FBI — an agreement which the former FBI director violated with his forthcoming book.
Gowdy went on to express his hope that, prior to its release, the book was examined by the intelligence community to ensure that Comey did not leak any confidential information.
“But the writing of the book in general and then some of the things that he’s talking about are just frankly beneath the dignity of some really important offices he once held,” Gowdy concluded.
“My bigger concern…”
Comey has broken his media silence in the days leading up to the release of A Higher Loyalty to interview with ABC. In a released clip from the interview, which airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET, Comey admitted to George Stephanopoulos that he did not inform Trump that the Christopher Steele dossier was paid for by his political opponents — the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, called this omission a “relevant fact,” when speaking to Fox, but he had bigger worries still.
“Whether or not he should have told the president, the FBI certainly should have told the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court,” the representative told Fox. “That’s my bigger concern…they didn’t tell the folks who authorize the warrant.”
The released FISA memo, which was compiled by Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee, found that the FBI used the Democrat-funded Steele dossier as the basis to obtain a warrant to spy on a member of the Trump campaign.
“I’m really disappointed.”
But it isn’t just Gowdy calling Comey out over his book. With A Higher Loyalty on the brink of release, excerpts from the work are already making the rounds, prompting backlash from conservatives who have criticized Comey’s choice to take “cheap shots” at President Trump.
In one such excerpt, Comey described one of his first encounters with the now-president, writing:
Trump’s face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coiffed, bright blond hair, which upon close inspection looked to be all his.
Unable to beat him on the political battlefield, Trump detractors like Comey have frequently taken to mocking the president’s physical appearance. The perceptive former FBI director even did some field work to check the accuracy of a widespread report that Trump has “small hands,” writing:
As he extended his hand, I made a mental note to check its size. It was smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.
In other excerpts, Comey describes Trump as similar to a “mob boss,” “ego-driven,” and “untethered to truth” — although Comey’s own bias and lack of professionalism while running the FBI don’t put him in the best place to throw around leadership criticism, as Gowdy pointed out on Friday.
“I can’t think of anyone who’s done a better job of politicizing the FBI than [Comey] has in the last 36 to 48 hours, by talking about bed goggles and the length of a tie,” Gowdy said. “That is beneath the dignity of the offices that he held. I’m really disappointed.”
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership is set to hit shelves in the U.S. on Tuesday.
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