According to a book set for release on Tuesday, President Donald Trump wanted former FBI director James Comey to discredit a report that he had been in a Russian hotel room with prostitutes, saying in one meeting that something like that could not have happened because he is a “germaphobe.”
The story appears in Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.” Comey will kick off a publicity tour for the book on Sunday with an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC at 10 p.m. ET
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In addition to stories about Trump asking for Comey’s personal loyalty, according to media reports, the more than 300-page tome includes passages where Comey says Trump is “unethical and untethered to truth,” he created a "cocoon of alternative reality” and that meetings in person with Trump led him to concluded that his ties were too long and his hands a bit small.
Here are some excerpts from Comey’s book:
- "Somebody probably had told him, or maybe it just occurred to him at random, that he’d 'given' me the job for 'free' and that he needed to get something in return." – On the “loyalty” dinner.
- “I was determined not to give the president any hint of assent to this demand, so I gave silence instead,” Comey writes about being asked for his personal loyalty to Trump. “I stared at the soft white pouches under his expressionless blue eyes. I remember thinking in that moment that the president doesn’t understand the FBI’s role in American life.”
- In another meeting, Comey says Trump asked him to prove the allegations in the Christopher Steele dossier were untrue. "He then began discussing cases where women had accused him of sexual assault, a subject I had not raised. He mentioned a number of women, and seemed to have memorized their allegations."
- "I'm a germaphobe" … "There's no way I would let people pee on each other around me. No way." – A follow-up conversation Trump had with Comey where he again mentions the allegations in the dossier.
- “He was sick about my firing and … he intended to quit in protest." – On then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly after Comey was fired. "He [Kelly] said he didn't want to work for dishonorable people who would treat someone like me in such a manner. I urged Kelly not to do that, arguing that the country needed principled people around this president. Especially this president."
- “The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.” – On the “mob boss” mentality of Trump’s White House.
- “Sessions just cast his eyes down at the table, and they darted quickly back and forth, side to side. He said nothing. I read in his posture and face a message that he would not be able to help me.” – On Attorney General Sessions leaving Comey to talk to Trump alone in the Oval Office.
- “I have read she has felt anger toward me personally, and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that I couldn’t do a better job explaining to her and her supporters why I made the decisions I made.” – About reopening an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server 11 days before the 2016 election.
His impressions on meeting Trump in person:
- “His face appeared slightly orange with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coifed, bright blond hair, which upon close inspection looked to be all his.”
- “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.”
More on Comey:
>>James Comey’s new book ‘A Higher Loyalty’ scathing account of Trump presidency, character
>>James Comey compares Trump to a ‘mob boss’ in upcoming interview
>>Who is James Comey? Things to know about the former FBI director