White House Chief of Staff John Kelly called President Donald Trump "dishonorable" for firing James Comey, according to the former FBI director.
- White House chief of staff John Kelly called President Donald Trump "dishonorable" for firing James Comey as FBI director, according to Comey's new book.
- Kelly was reportedly "emotional" over how Comey was let go.
It sounds like President Donald Trump's chief of staff did not approve of his decision to fire James Comey, the former FBI director alleges in his new book.
Comey's forthcoming memoir, " target="_blank"A Higher Loyalty," which will be released on Tuesday, details the account of White House chief of staff John Kelly's anger over how Trump let Comey go. After being fired last May, Comey wrote that he received an "emotional" phone call from Kelly, who was then secretary of homeland security.
According to Comey, Kelly was "sick" about how Comey was fired and "intended to quit" in protest. Comey found out about his dismissal when the news broke on TV while he was in Los Angeles meeting with FBI agents.
Kelly reportedly told Comey that "he didn't want to work for dishonorable people" like Trump. Comey says he encouraged Kelly not to quit because the president needed people like him around to help.
The information and details in Comey's book are sure to cause an uproar with the president and could further hurt Trump's relationship with his chief of staff. It has been reported and rumored for weeks now that Trump could be looking to get rid of Kelly and that his influence is waning inside the White House.
According to a White House official who talked to The Daily Beast, the version of this story that Kelly has told senior staffers differs greatly from Comey's account. White House allies, including the Republican National Committee, are taking the lead in discrediting Comey's anecdotes.
The White House initially said Comey was fired because of the way he handled the FBI's investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server to conduct government business. But Trump later said on national television that "this Russia thing" had been a factor in his decision.
He also reportedly told two top Russian government officials, one day after dismissing Comey, that his firing had taken "great pressure" off of him.
At first, the White House said Trump's decision was based entirely on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who had penned a memo about Comey, at Trump's request, the day after meeting with Trump to discuss his performance. Though Rosenstein was critical of Comey in his memo, he did not recommend Comey be fired.
The FBI director's ouster ignited an immediate firestorm in Washington, with both Democrats and Republicans raising questions about whether the president had fired Comey to stymie an investigation into his and his associates' potential wrongdoings.
Comey, who appears to be holding nothing back in the interviews leading up to the release of his book, recently referred to Trump as a mob boss in a clip from an interview with ABC News scheduled to air on Sunday night.