Former FBI director James Comey is very, very concerned with ensuring that he is not perceived as a political guy.
Sure, he played an outsized role in the 2016 presidential election. Yes, he wrote a book about his time with President Donald Trump. And, OK, in that book, he concluded that Trump was morally unfit to be President of the United States.
But, he’s not a political guy, OK?! The book – “A Higher Loyalty” is a book about leadership, not a book about Trump!
Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday whether he hated the President, Comey was taken aback – insisting that not only does he not hate Trump, he doesn’t even “dislike” him.
What Comey wants you to believe about his book (and him) is the same thing that your parents used to tell you when you got in trouble: He’s not mad, he’s just disappointed.
The problem for Comey is that in that same interview with Tapper, he shows his political stripes – bigly.
Tapper asks Comey if he believes Hillary Clinton would be a better president than Trump. Comey refuses to answer.
Let’s remember that Comey has written in his book that Trump lacks the moral character to be president, that he lies, that he is prone to irrational anger, that he is a bully.
But he can’t say whether he thinks Clinton would be a better president? If that’s true, then Comey believes all those same things about Clinton that he has written about Trump, right? And I doubt he thinks that.
The Point: You don’t get to be the FBI director without a) being aware of the political winds and b) being an able navigator of those winds. Comey is now, has been and always will be a political creature. No matter what he says.
Read Thursday’s full edition of The Point newsletter.