Wednesday 15 August 2018

'Slimeball' Comey should be jailed for lying - Trump

President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen leaves a hotel in New York yesterday. Photo: Reuters
President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen leaves a hotel in New York yesterday. Photo: Reuters

Julie Allen in Washington

Donald Trump has called for James Comey, the former FBI director, to be jailed as he accused him of revealing classified information and of lying to Congress.

In addition to suggesting the former intelligence chief be incarcerated, the US president called him "slippery" and a "slimeball" and said he would go down as the worst FBI director in history, during a Twitter rant that spanned two hours yesterday morning.

He also challenged accusations made by the former FBI director in a tell-all book that is due for release this week.

Mr Trump wrote: "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), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn't they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe's $700,000 & more?"

Former FBI director James Comey appears in interview with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC Television Network show '20/20' last night. Photo: AP
Former FBI director James Comey appears in interview with George Stephanopoulos on the ABC Television Network show '20/20' last night. Photo: AP

He added: "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!"

And shortly after came: "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!"

The two men have been involved in a ferocious war of words since the president fired Mr Comey last May amid the investigation into his 2016 campaign and Russian meddling in the election. It was Mr Comey's firing that prompted the appointment of Robert Mueller, the special counsel.

Mr Comey later testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Mr Trump had asked him for "loyalty" at a January dinner, and that alone in the Oval Office Mr Trump had said to him that he "hoped" he could let the investigation into former national security director Michael Flynn "go".

His evidence opened up the president to accusations of obstruction of justice, which Mr Trump has repeatedly and strongly denied.

Mr Comey's memoir, 'A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership', is released tomorrow, but has already become a bestseller thanks to huge pre-publication sales.

Last night, ABC aired a lengthy interview to kick-off Mr Comey's book tour, which was expected to attract millions of viewers.

Extracts that emerged last week showed Mr Comey likened the president to an "unethical" mob boss who is "untethered" to the truth, casts his inner circle poorly and details an obsession with a dossier written by Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote of rumoured engagements with prostitutes.

Mr Comey writes: "What is happening now is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not OK," describing "the forest fire that is the Trump presidency".

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's approval rating stands at its highest since his first 100 days in office, at 40pc. The 'Washington Post'-ABC News poll showed his popularity up 4pc from January.

Among white voters, he has 53pc support, up seven points since the beginning of the year, and among white men without college degrees he is up 6pc to 70pc.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has lashed out at the FBI raid on his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who is under criminal investigation for personal business dealings.

"Attorney Client privilege is now a thing of the past," Mr Trump tweeted. "I have many (too many!) lawyers and they are probably wondering when their offices, and even homes, are going to be raided with everything, including their phones and computers, taken. All lawyers are deflated and concerned!"

The raid carried out last week at Mr Cohen's apartment, hotel room, office and safety deposit box sought bank records, his communications with the Trump campaign and information on payments he made in 2016 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Mr Trump was enraged by the raid, calling it an "attack on the country".

Lawyers for Mr Cohen appeared in federal court in New York on Friday asking that they, not the Department of Justice, be given a first crack at reviewing the seized evidence to see whether it was relevant to the investigation.

In a court filing, prosecutors contend that Mr Cohen was "performing little to no legal work" for Mr Trump.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked yesterday whether Mr Trump was worried that Mr Cohen might agree to work with prosecutors, if charged, to reduce his own punishment.

She said: "The president is very confident in the fact that he has done nothing wrong and he can't speak on behalf of anyone else, but he's very confident in what he has and hasn't done."

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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