President Trump on Sunday blasted fired FBI Director James Comey and his new book, which is critical of the president, suggesting Comey's mishandling of the Clinton email probe deserves "jail" time and again calling him a "slimeball".
Excerpts of the interview with ABC News already have been aired, as have reviews of Comey's new memoir "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership", which likens Trump to a dishonest, ego-driven mob boss who demanded a pledge of loyalty from his Federal Bureau of Investigation chief. In addition, Comey says he and the president sparred over Trump's complimentary words regarding Vladimir Putin and his suggestion in an interview that the US was also guilty of illegal killings.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders earlier furiously branded Comey as a "disgraced partisan hack" when addressing the press.
"The demand was like Sammy the Bull's Cosa Nostra induction ceremony", Comey writes, recalling that the president told him shortly after his inauguration, "I need loyalty".
Ryan, R-Wis., who announced his retirement on Wednesday, has previously defended Comey from Trump's attacks.
Comey's recent behavior has been equally puerile, with the former head of one of the most powerful agencies on Earth lending credence to a patently absurd conspiracy theory involving Trump and prostitutes. He said Trump appeared shorter than he had assumed.
Comey's book will be released next week.
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Comey, fired by Trump in May 2017, says the president has no sense of what is right and wrong.
Trump's allies have prepared an extensive campaign to fight back against Comey's publicity tour, trying to undermine his credibility by reviving the blistering Democratic criticism of him before he was sacked almost a year ago. "Slimeball" tweeted the US President. The former presidential hopeful wrote that she felt "shivved" by Comey.
But Trump wouldn't let the matter rest, bringing up the allegations at least four times.
He also reveals new details about his interactions with Mr Trump and his own decision-making in handling the Hillary Clinton email investigation before the 2016 election.
Loyalty was, on one level, the issue over which Comey supposedly was sacked.
"I don't remember spelling it out, but it had to have been", he said of whether her chances were a factor.
The interviews are Comey's first public comments since he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last June, when he accused Trump of firing him to undermine the FBI's Russian Federation investigation. According to Comey, after he was ousted as chief of the F.B.I., he received an "emotional call" from Kelly, who was then the secretary of Homeland Security.