As Michael Wolff well knows, nothing spurs book sales like presidential blowback.
President Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of rage against James Comey on Sunday over the former FBI director's forthcoming book, calling him "slippery", insisting he never asked him for loyalty and labelling him "the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!"
But that wasn't Trump's only complaint over a book that appeared to agitate him and those in the White House last week after members of the media obtained unreleased copies of the book.
"Comey throws AG Lynch 'under the bus!' Why can't we all find out what happened on the tarmac in the back of the plane with Wild Bill and Lynch?"
Trump is reacting to Comey's new book, which compares the president to an unethical mob boss who demands loyalty and twists facts to serve his goal. Based on early excerpts, we've compiled some of the book's most pivotal takeaways.
Comey claimed Trump was particularly concerned about unproven allegations that in 2013 he had watched as prostitutes urinated on a bed in a Moscow hotel, asking Comey to investigate to disprove it. Comey told ABC News that after this, Trump said something that distracted him: "He said, 'If there's even a one percent chance my wife thinks that's true, that's awful'".
"I don't know the answer to that", Comey said.
The allegations left Trump fuming. "Comey: Discussing "Pee Tape" Dossier with Trump Was 'Out of Body Experience", read a Huffington Post headline. If they were doing that, they'd say something like, "Comey was right when he criticized Clinton, but he's wrong about Trump". "I hope you can let this go".
In calling Comey a proven liar, Trump may be referring to the fact the Comey drafted the exoneration of Hillary Clinton before she was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but told Congress under oath that he made the decision after Clinton was interviewed.
Clinton has in the past blamed her defeat in 2016 on Comey.
- Comey found something unusual about the president's attitude toward Russian Federation.
He also details a conversation with Barack Obama in which the president assured him that he supported his choice.
The thought of having dinner alone with Mr Trump at the White House made Mr Comey "deeply uncomfortable", he writes in the book, because he feared that the president wanted to compromise the FBI's integrity and independence and was waging "an effort to establish a patronage relationship" with him. "I want you to know that nothing-nothing-has happened in the a year ago to change my view".
Comey said he replied: "You will always get honesty from me". "I'm not trying to be evasive".
In the book, which is available April 17, Comey also reveals new details about how the government had unverified classified information that he believes could have been used to cast doubt on Attorney General Loretta Lynch's independence in the Clinton probe.
Trump fired Comey in May 2017, setting off a scramble at the Justice Department that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russian Federation investigation.
But Comey wrote in his book he found her position "very odd", as she did not fully recuse herself. The boss in complete control.
"Lying about things, large and small, in service to some warped code of loyalty". "He said he was sick about my firing and that he meant to quit in protest", Comey writes.
Comey says he offered his "honest loyalty" instead.