James Comey: A legend in his own mind, but not at the FBI

James Comey’s book and interview tour may enable him gain personal enrichment and public attention. However, they will further stain his reputation within the FBI.

That, at least, is the conclusion I reach from this article in the Daily Beast. Jana Winter reports:

James Comey’s first interview since President Trump fired him as director of the FBI has enraged his former agents who deluged the Daily Beast with their disdain as they watched him tell his side of the story to George Stephanopoulos on Sunday night.

Seven current or former FBI agents and officials spoke throughout and immediately after the broadcast. There was a lot of anger, frustration, and even more emojis—featuring the thumbs-down, frowny face, middle finger, and a whole lot of green vomit faces.

One former FBI official summed things up nicely:

Good lord, what a self-serving self-centered jackass. True to form he thinks he’s the smartest guy around.

Even past and current members of the FBI who used to support Comey have become disenchanted, according to Winter:

Support for Comey has dwindled as those who worked closely with him and initially supported him began to see his book and his public interactions—including Twitter selfies in Iowa—as self-serving and gauche, four sources said.

Their anger has grown in recent months as agents have come to see Comey as the reason for the “current shitshow… that is the Trump presidency” one former official, who voted for Trump, explained.

The only comment supportive of Comey’s performance during the Stephanopoulos interview doesn’t really recommend the guy:

I thought he was highly trustworthy and very transparent, like watching someone in confession. It seems like he’s still wrestling with it.

I don’t buy this act. Comey has shown himself to be a master manipulator and has displayed a self-righteousness inconsistent with genuine introspection.

But assume for the moment that Comey genuinely is the pious, anguished fellow he presents himself as. Why would we want that person lead the nation’s top law enforcement agency?

The FBI is not the place for Hamlet or for a Hamlet impersonator. But neither is it the place for Iago, a role I think Comey more closely fits.

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