According to former FBI Director James Comey’s friend, he was completely disgusted when Trump tried to compromise his reputation and the reputation of the FBI in public… with a hug.
More from the Hill:
A friend of James Comey said Thursday that the former FBI director was “disgusted” when President Trump hugged him at a White House event earlier this year, calling it an “intentional attempt to compromise [Comey] in public.”
Brookings Institution fellow Benjamin Wittes, a close friend of Comey, recounted the incident on PBS “NewsHour” Thursday. According to Wittes, Comey was “disgusted” when Trump gave Comey a hug during a White House visit for a ceremony honoring law enforcement officials that worked Trump’s inauguration.
Wittes said Comey “really did not want to go to that meeting” and tried to distance himself from Trump to ensure the FBI’s independence from the White House. Comey, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, was wearing a dark blue suit and stood near the similarly colored curtains in the back of the room, hoping that Trump would not spot him.
Trump did end up calling out Comey.
“Right at the end, Trump singles [Comey] out in a fashion that [Comey] regarded as sort of calculated,” Wittes said. “Trump grabs the hand and kind of pulls [Comey] into the hug, but the hug is entirely one-sided. Comey was just completely disgusted by the episode.”
Wittes says that Comey felt Trump was purposely trying to put an idea out in the public that the FBI and Comey were compromised by closeness to the president. Clearly, the guy doesn’t like Trump. But given Trump’s skill at public marketing and manipulation, I could see that this is possible. Either way it doesn’t mean much – it’s just another tiny hint of the relationship between these two men that might decide the future of the presidency.