Tags: Donald Trump | Law Enforcement | Media Bias | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | James Comey | FBI

Comey's Friend: Trump Wanted to Make 'Loyalist' of Ex-FBI Chief

CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360"

By    |   Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:55 PM

Former FBI Director James Comey felt President Donald Trump was trying "to make a loyalist out of him" – so he documented every interaction with the president, a longtime Comey friend said Tuesday.

"Not all of those incidents were in public," Benjamin Wittes, a blogger and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Anderson Cooper on CNN. "He's a confident guy.

"He did feel like there were these numerous incidents where the president was kind of probing the edges of his defenses, all in the service of seeing whether you could make a loyalist out of him."

Wittes, editor-in-chief of the Lawfare blog, first discussed his views on Comey's dealings with Trump last week with The New York Times.

He disclosed the former FBI director documents all his interactions with President Trump.

Wittes told Cooper on Tuesday that "I have no doubt that he regarded the group of people around the president as dishonorable.

"Jim felt that the independence of the agency and the ability to do its job in an apolitical fashion was not being respected."

Comey, as a result, believed his job since President Trump took office Jan. 20 was to "create that space," Wittes said.

"The terms he used were to train the White House that there were things that they couldn't do."

He noted Comey declined to testify to Congress in closed session.

"He's not somebody who spends time feeling sorry for himself," Wittes said.

"I thought it was interesting and very telling that he declined an opportunity to tell his story in private. He clearly wants to do it in a public setting.

"I think this is reflection of the fact that this is a guy with a story to tell.

"If I were Donald Trump, that would scare me a lot."

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Former FBI Director James Comey felt that President Donald Trump was trying "to make a loyalist out of him" – so he documented every interaction with the president, a longtime Comey friend said Tuesday.
James Comey, FBI, director, White House
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2017-55-23
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:55 PM
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