Former FBI Director James Comey is poised to kick off a massive media blitz this weekend as he begins a highly anticipated tour for his new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.” But the former Trump administration official, whose ouster remains shrouded in intrigue, began nabbing headlines on Thursday as portions his book were released to news outlets.
The longtime bureau official sat down for five hours with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos this week for an exclusive interview set to air Sunday night, the first in a series of prominent appearances poised to dominate news cycles. Other stops on Comey’s jam-packed April tour include a “Late Show” appearance on the 17th, a sit-down with the co-hosts of “The View” on the 18th and a CNN town hall on the 25th.
Though Comey’s book is not set to hit newsstands until Tuesday, numerous publications had obtained either sneak peeks or full copies of the book by Thursday evening.
Here’s a look at some of the most eye-catching claims in Comey’s book.
Trump asked Comey to look into allegations in the so-called Trump-Russia dossier
The former FBI director writes in his book that the president asked him to look into the uncorroborated allegations from the dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele that Trump hired prostitutes to urinate in front of him in a Moscow hotel room where President Barack Obama had stayed, according to a copy obtained by the New York Post. Trump, according to the report, expressed interest in digging into the claims out of concern that his wife, first lady Melania Trump, might believe them.
“He brought up what he called the ‘golden showers thing’ … adding that it bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true,” Comey reportedly writes in “A Higher Loyalty.”
He added: “He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn’t possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. I said it was up to him.”
Comey cites a ‘development still unknown” about Loretta Lynch in seizing public role on Hillary Clinton probe
Comey discusses at length in the book his handling of the federal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
According to ABC News, the former FBI director felt compelled to take a prominent public role in the investigation into Clinton in part because of a “development still unknown to the American public to this day” about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch that he feared critics would use to raise doubts about the integrity of the investigation.
Comey writes in the book that in early 2016, the U.S. government obtained information from a classified source regarding Lynch. He writes that “the source and content of that material remains classified as I write this.”
Comey does not elaborate on what the information is. But he adds: “Had it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation.”
The former FBI director reportedly writes that he did not sense that Lynch interfered with the inquiry, however, despite her highly scrutinized tarmac exchange with former President Bill Clinton. But Comey cited the episode as a rationale for assuming a larger public profile in the investigation.
Former FBI director was wary of Trump’s calls for loyalty
Comey writes that he felt concerned about the president’s priorities after he and other top intelligence briefed Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and several top aides on Russian meddling efforts a few weeks before the inauguration.
According the ABC News report, Comey says that instead of inquiring about the threat from Russia, Trump and his team appeared more focused on “how they could spin what we’d just told them” and discussing “how to position these findings for maximum political advantage.”
“I sat there thinking, Holy crap, they are trying to make each of us ‘amica nostra’ — friend of ours. To draw us in,” Comey writes. “As crazy as it sounds, I suddenly had the feeling that, in the blink of an eye, the president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family and that Team Trump had made it a ‘thing of ours.’”
Kelly expressed concerns to Comey about working for ‘dishonorable people’
Two sources who have read Comey’s book told The Daily Beast that in a previously reported phone call between John Kelly and Comey after his firing, Kelly — who was then secretary of homeland security and is now the White House chief of staff — voiced concern about the way the president handled the FBI director’s firing.
Comey recalls the phone call in his book, writing that Kelly said he was “sick” about the ordeal and “intended to quit” in protest of the president’s decision. Kelly “said he didn’t want to work for dishonorable people,” the sources said.
Comey pokes fun at Trump’s hand size, complexion in book
The former FBI director did not shy away from taking jabs at his former boss in his book.
ABC News reports that the 6-foot-8 Comey made light of the president’s 6-foot-3 stature, writing that he “appeared shorter than he seemed on a debate stage.”
Comey also alluded to Trump’s infamous dustup with and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another 2016 Republican presidential candidate, over their hand sizes. Comey writes of a greeting where the president offered his hand: “It was smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”
The president set the internet ablaze on the 2016 campaign trail when he pushed back against Rubio’s assertion that he had small hands.
“I have to say this, he hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands,” Trump declared at a primary debate. “I’ve never heard of this one. Look at those hands. Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands if they’re small, something else must be small.”
He added: “I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee you.”
Comey also appears to reference a common online trope about the president’s complexion, writing that during a meeting his “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.”
“I remember wondering,” Comey write, “how long it must take him in the morning to get that done.”