- ABC News
- James Comey, the former FBI director, says in a new book that President Donald Trump reminds him of a mob boss.
- Comey, who used to prosecute organized crime, said being in the Trump White House gave him flashbacks.
- He cited “lying about all things,” a need for “complete control,” and an obsession with personal loyalty as gangster-like behavior from Trump.
James Comey repeatedly compares President Donald Trump to a mob boss in his bombshell memoir, according to leaked extracts of the book.
The former FBI director describes attempts by the president and his circle to draw him into his confidence, as well as an obsession with personal loyalty reminiscent of the Italian Mafia.
A teaser released Thursday of an interview set to air this weekend as part of the book’s promotion showed Comey being asked about the mob-boss comparison by the ABC host George Stephanopoulos.
Here’s how he described Trump’s candor in the White House.
“I had never seen anything like it in the Oval Office. As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob.
“The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview.
“The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and the truth.”
Describing a different meeting with Trump in January 2017, in which he said he was asked for his personal loyalty, Comey again said it reminded him of the Mafia:
“To my mind, the demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony – with Trump in the role of the family boss, asking me if I have what it takes to be a ‘made man.'”
Sammy the Bull is the nickname of Salvatore Gravano, a notorious New York gangster who was part of the Gambino crime family.
Here’s how he described a meeting about Russian election interference, in which he briefed Trump’s circle and was kept in the room while officials worked out how to respond:
“Holy crap, they are trying to make each of us an ‘amica nostra’ – a friend of ours. To draw us in.
“As crazy as it sounds, I suddenly had the feeling that, in the blink of an eye, the president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family.”
Trump and his allies have repeatedly derided Comey as untrustworthy and biased against the president.
A website funded the Republican National Committee, Lyincomey.com, includes a long list of political figures questioning his credibility and claims he is a liar, describing him as a “politically motivated Washington insider.”