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Trump: It was ‘my great honor’ to fire James Comey

These two file photos show US President Donald

These two file photos show US President Donald Trump, left, in Washington, DC, on June 6, 2017 and then FBI Director James Comey, right, in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2017. Credit: Getty Images/AP

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked former FBI Director James Comey as a “liar” and a “weak and untruthful slime ball” on Friday after release of excerpts of Comey’s forthcoming book that depicts the president as being like an untruthful mob boss.

Trump led a White House counterattack by firing off two tweets after Comey questioned Trump’s character and his failure to respond to Russian election interference Friday in an ABC News interview about his book “A Higher Loyalty” to be published Tuesday.

Comey, fired by Trump in May 2017, elaborates in the book on his testimony before Congress, adding descriptions of Trump and their meetings and characterizing Trump as a Mafia-like boss who is “untethered to the truth” and makes everything about himself.

Trump shot back. “James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and . . . ” he said in a tweet, and continued in a second post:

“ . . . untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the book as “a poorly executed PR stunt by Comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation and enrich his own bank account by peddling a book that belongs in the bargain bin of the fiction section.”

Comey’s book left Democrats divided.

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) on CNN defended Comey’s integrity though not his politically damaging handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe. But former Obama adviser David Axelrod tweeted doubts about the book’s timing: “Doesn’t this just contribute to the circus atmosphere?”

In the interview, Comey said Trump’s first question in a Jan. 7, 2017, meeting with intelligence officials about their assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election “was to confirm that it had no impact on the election.”

Trump and his political aides then “moved into a PR conversation about how the Trump team would position this.” Comey called that striking “because that’s just not done” because the intelligence community does not do public relations and spin.

Drawing the most attention in Comey’s new book is his descriptions of how he briefed Trump about a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

“I started to tell him about the allegation that he had been involved with prostitutes in a hotel in Moscow in 2013 during the visit for the Miss Universe pageant and that the Russians had filmed the episode, and he interrupted very defensively and started talking about it, you know, ‘Do I look like a guy who needs hookers?’ ” Comey said.

Comey said he responded, “I’m not saying we believe it. We just thought it very important that you know.” But Comey acknowledged he didn’t tell Trump that Democrats paid for the work on the dossier.

Comey said at a one-on-one dinner on Jan. 27, 2017, Trump asked Comey to investigate the dossier because “if there’s even a 1 percent chance my wife thinks that’s true, that’s terrible.”

When Trump told him he might order him to investigate, Comey recalled, “I said, ‘Sir, that’s up to you. But you’d want to be careful about that, because it might create a narrative that we’re investigating you personally, and second, it’s very difficult to prove something didn’t happen.’ ”

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