Former FBI Director James Comey is making waves with his forthcoming book — but the memoir may be causing more criticism than he anticipated.
“A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” is set to be released next week, but many media outlets have already received excerpts. People ranging from President Donald Trump to Congressman Trey Gowdy have already called out Comey for the book’s contents, and now even FBI members are criticizing its release.
CNN security correspondent Jamie Gangel told anchor Wolf Blitzer on Thursday that she had spoken to FBI sources, and they were upset about Comey’s book.
“I’ve talked to quite a few former FBI high-ranking sources. They are not happy,” Gangel explained. “They feel it crosses the line of professionalism.”
CNN: FBI agents “not happy” about Comey’s book, says it “crosses the line of professionalism” and hurts the FBI. pic.twitter.com/MpvmU8Lhtl
— Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 (@RealSaavedra) April 13, 2018
The reporter was referring to portions of Comey’s book that can only be described as petty, such as calling Trump “orange” and comparing hand sizes to see who was larger.
“When he says these things and goes this far, it further hurts (the FBI’s) reputation,” Gangel said of Comey.
Comey doubled-down on his pettiness during an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. Instead of walking back some of the anti-Trump rhetoric in his book, Comey leaned into them.
“I think it’s astonishing, the one thing an FBI director or former FBI director can do is dodge a question,” Gangel said about that interview. “So when you see him repeating certain words that are, no question, salacious, I’m just stunned that he went that far.”
Remember, this is a veteran reporter for CNN, certainly no Trump ally. When even journalists from Trump’s “arch enemy” news network are “stunned” at how low Comey decided to go, it’s worth noting.
Gangel and her FBI sources weren’t the only ones dismayed by the petty tone of Comey’s book. Gowdy had a similar reaction after he read portions of the memoir.
“I can’t think of anyone who’s done a better job of politicizing the FBI than he has in the last 36 to 48 hours, by talking about tanning bed goggles and the length of a tie,” Gowdy said. “That is beneath the dignity of the offices that he held.”
Throwing mud in a tell-all book might help sell copies, but it sure doesn’t seem to be helping Comey’s reputation. If anything, it illustrates exactly why the former director was let go in the first place.
Comey — as well as Andrew McCabe, who served as acting FBI director after Comey’s dismissal — have both shown attitudes of self-aggrandizement. They would apparently rather leak to the media, undermine the president, and sell books than do their jobs as professionals.
Playing the hapless victim may have worked for Comey in the past, but the jig is up. He may have burned one too many bridges, and find the American people have run out of sympathy for his “woe-is-me” stories.
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