Former Bush administration official Karl Rove picked apart some of former FBI director James Comey's claims in a new opinion piece published Thursday.
Writing his regular column in The Wall Street Journal, Rove argued that some of what Comey put in his book is either false or is missing key pieces of information.
Comey's book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership" sold 600,000 copies in its first week, but Rove said "behind the aw-shucks, I-was-the-only-honest-man-in-the-room persona, Mr. Comey's book demonstrates his real higher loyalty is to self-aggrandizement."
Rove then gave two examples that Comey wrote in his book to make his point that the former lawman is trying to stretch the truth.
Comey discussed the 2003 Valerie Plame investigation, which involved the publication of her work as a CIA officer. Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was eventually charged and convicted with several crimes related to the case, for which he was pardoned this year. Rove accused Comey of distorting the story.
"Vital facts are missing from Mr. Comey's account. The most important is that no one revealed a covert CIA agent's name," Rove wrote. "Though Mr. Comey refers to Ms. Plame seven times as a 'covert agent,' she was not. That's why Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who revealed Ms. Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, was never indicted."
Rove also called out Comey's recollection of a 2004 incident during which Comey, then the deputy attorney general, became acting attorney general for a few days when his boss John Ashcroft was ill. Comey claimed he raced to a hospital room to intercept White House officials who were en route to visit Ashcroft so that he would reauthorize a warrantless surveillance program known as Stellar Wind.
Comey claimed he got to the hospital in time and, after Ashcroft momentarily recovered, the program was not re-authorized — although it later was after changes were made.
"White House officials don't even recall Mr. Comey's presence at Mr. Ashcroft's bedside," Rove wrote. "He might have been seated in a dark corner or hiding behind a room divider, but he was a silent observer at best."
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