President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to complain that the life of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has been "totally destroyed" and to bemoan that fired FBI Director James Comey was making money off what Trump termed a "third rate book."
Trump's comments came the day after the Justice Department released redacted versions of memos that Comey composed after interactions with Trump. Among the revelations is that Trump expressed concerns about Flynn's judgment weeks before he was forced to resign.
"So General Michael Flynn's life can be totally destroyed while Shadey James Comey can Leak and Lie and make lots of money from a third rate book (that should never have been written)," the president tweeted. "Is that really the way life in America is supposed to work? I don't think so!"
Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Comey -- at one point calling him an "untruthful slimeball" -- as the former FBI chief conducts a publicity tour to promote his new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, a 304-page tell-all that portrays the president as an ego-driven congenital liar.
After his firing, Comey provided one of his memos to a friend so he could disclose details to journalists and prompt the appointment of a special counsel. Comey has said he was within his rights as a private citizen to make the disclosure.
Late Friday, Trump took aim at Comey again on Twitter: "James Comey illegally leaked classified documents to the press in order to generate a Special Council? Therefore, the Special Council was established based on an illegal act? Really, does everybody know what that means?"
Meanwhile, Trump remains a defender of Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn, who was forced to resign less than a month into Trump's presidency, is also cooperating in the ongoing probe of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.
In a Jan. 28, 2017, memo released Thursday, Comey said Trump castigated Flynn for not promptly scheduling a return phone call of congratulations from a foreign head of state.
"In telling the story, the President pointed his fingers at his head and said, 'the guy has serious judgment issues,'" Comey wrote. Comey said he did not comment at the time.
The memos kept by Comey show his unease with Trump's requests and his concern that the president was blurring the line between politics and law enforcement, including with a request that he end the investigation into Flynn.
Yet Trump and Comey were clearly on the same page about leaks, even if they weren't quite in agreement on whom to hold accountable for them.
Comey recounts an Oval Office conversation from February 2017 in which Trump raises the prospect of jailing journalists who benefit from leaked information. According to the memos, Comey told Trump it would be tricky legally to jail reporters but said he saw value in going after leakers and "putting a head on a pike as a message" by bringing such a case.
Trump shot back that sending that message may involve jailing reporters.
"They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk," Trump says in one memo. Comey laughed as he walked out of the room, according to the memo.
Trump has disputed Comey's accounts of their conversations.
Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, is "very upset and disappointed" by comments made by Comey, his former boss, that contradict his account of a disclosure to the news media, McCabe's lawyer said Friday.
"Andy has at all times attempted to, and believes he's been successful in, playing it straight with Jim," Michael Bromwich told reporters as he again attacked an internal investigation process that led to McCabe's firing from the FBI last month and a criminal referral to federal prosecutors.
The disagreement involves conflicting recollections about a conversation the two men had after an October 2016 Wall Street Journal story about an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
McCabe said he told Comey that he had authorized FBI officials to share information with the reporter -- specifically, details of a heated phone conversation with a senior Justice Department official -- in order to push back against a story he felt was going to be unfair to the bureau and inaccurate.
Comey, however, has said McCabe did not acknowledge having done so and left the impression that he didn't know who had shared the information with the journalist.
The Justice Department's inspector general concluded that McCabe misled officials under oath about authorizing the disclosure. Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired him last month, and the inspector general's office in recent weeks referred the matter to the U.S. attorney's office in Washington for a possible criminal investigation.
Information for this article was contributed by John Wagner of The Washington Post; and by Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker, Chad Day, Tom LoBianco, Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller of The Associated Press.
A Section on 04/21/2018
Print Headline: Trump: Comey profits while Flynn ruined unfair