'His face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes'

KeallHauled

Chris Keall

Trump and Comey in January 2017 (Getty)

'His face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assume he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coiffed, bright blond hair, which on close inspection looked to be all his. I remember wondering how long it must take him in the morning to get that done.'

So writes sacked James Comey about you-know-who in his forthcoming book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, which will be released on May 1.

His publisher, Macmillan, has released a few preview snippets, including the above, plus a number of passages comparing Trump to a mafia boss.

Of his January 2017 one-on-one dinner at the White House with the president, where Trump allegedly implied the FBI director could continue in his job if he dropped the Russia probe, Comey writes, “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’.”

Comey even takes aim at the president's height ("shorter than he seemed on a debate stage") and the size of his hands ("smaller than mine").

This is all great for Trump.

Attacks on his physical appearance, and tabloid speculation on his personal manner, all help his thesis that Comey (actually a Republican) is biased against him and out to get him.

And it made it easier for Trump to keep things on a schoolyard slanging match level in his response (he took to Twitter, with his trademark lack of presidential dignity, to call Comey "an untruthful slimeball.")

It's so easy to mock the president's personal foibles (heck, I've been guilty of it myself this week). But in the end, he only feeds off it. 

Time and time again, it distracts from the real issues.

You could say the fake tan is a metaphor for the president's compulsion to mislead, or the that his mafia-like (as Comey puts it) habit of dominating conversation is part of a deeper conspiracy to silence people. But, equally, you could say the president is just vain and egotistical.

A review by the New York Times (which has had the benefit of reading the whole memoir) calls Higher Loyalty "persuasive" and 'cinematic," but qualifies that it "offers little in the way of hard news revelations."

A much drier effort from Comey would have been more effective at pushing his case for what remain serious allegations of obstruction of justice.

But, of course, it would have been a much tougher sell for Macmillan, which needs to recoup its advance (put at $US2.5 million by the usually Wall Street Journal, and up to $US10 million elsewhere).

Comey and Macmillan also face the wider problem (which also afflicted Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury) that the whirligig chaos of the Trump White House throws up a fresh controversy every few days, always pushing the last book, scandal or Twitter meltdown or firing out of the spotlight.

Even I type, the growing brouhaha around Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is pushing Comey off the front pages.


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22 Comments & Questions

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Sounds as factual as Alec Baldwin’s book published a few months ago-

You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump

( note - comes with audiobook for best effect.....)

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I'm not a fan of Trump, and I love SNL, but Alec Baldwin's portrayal of the president is heavy-handed and tiresome. Doesn't encourage me to read the book.

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Sour-grapes because he was sacked. I'll bet if he was still in the job, he'd be kissing-up to him. I expect this book to on the $1 pile at the Warehouse within a week.

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Until this rag stops insulting the most powerful man in the world - I'm out.

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Didn't even mention Putin.

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Very good...

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Good luck with that. Every-man and his dog insults Trump, it's the worlds favorite pastime these days, and I for one don't see it stopping anytime soon.

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Sick of Mr Colbert continually basing his show on slagging off Trump.At least Letterman had a crack at everyone.
Mind u Trump is his own worst enemy but imo enough is enough.

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What is extraordinary, is how Trump prevails despite the quite extraordinary & frequent reasons for him to trip.
The alleged comraderie with Putin is surely out-the-window now ?!!

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The hypocrisy and bankruptcy of the US as a country and people is glaringly now showed to the world via their President.

Most satisfying indeed!

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Yes it is most satisfying, & after President Trump exposed it for all the world to see he is actually doing something about it by draining the swamp of all the institutionalised corruption such as Comey. Just defeating Clinton in the election achieved a lot in that respect.

How about China, when are they going to clean their act up? Perhaps they could start by removing subsidies from their electricity so all their means of production (especially steel) aren't subsidised by proxy.

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Refer reply to Stormer (#8).

Trump is making the swamp deeper and wider to accommodate more Trump swamp creatures.

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Your Stormer *(#8) strawman argument is irrelevant, I never claimed Comey lied under oath - try sticking with the issues at hand instead of changing the subject.

Comey did refuse to prosecute Clinton's blatantly illegal use of classified documents and her illegal use of a private server. Comey's claims of 'no intent' are irrelevant - he's corrupt and covered up for a corrupt politician..

Now, how about China? When are they going to remove subsidies on their electricity?

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You mean like NZ subsidizes and has been subsidizing Bluff aluminum plant with cheap electricity?

When NZ moves, guess China will.

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Yes indeed, NZ should stop subsidising our aluminium production, but NZ doesn't subsidise our entire national production of all products via electricity subsidies like China does. NZ abolished most subsidies in the 1980's & early 90's - China was still a highly regulated communist economic basketcase then, which is why so many Chinese fled China to NZ.

But your issue was about the 'hypocrisy and bankruptcy of the US as a country & people', which Trump is successfully reversing, not about NZ. Try sticking with the issue instead of hiding behind childish strawman arguments.

'King of the swamp creatures'? Ah, you mean Clinton and her private server, leaked classified documents, and her Clinton Foundation. Strange Comey didn't investigate, especially when he publicly admitted Clinton had broken the law.

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King of the swamp creatures caught lying but what's new?

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How about the fact that, in the West, free speech allows people to be criticised and held to account for their actions, unlike say, in China - where you'd be lied to and then arrested for pointing it out.

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What is extraordinary is how he, Trump (in his former life at least) and now America is laughing all the way to the bank, while his obsessed detractors moan and bitch and cry. Some people need to get a life!

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To the bank presumably to repay the trillions of dollars of IOUs they now collectively owe the rest of the world?

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Given Comey found no problems with lying under oath I am pretty sure the book belongs in the fiction section. I am not a Trump (or Hillary!) supporter for the record.

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Eh?

Please enlighten as there is no record of Comey lying under oath. Only Trump and WH say so.

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Thought so.

Very sad and real shame how many people out there are prepared to accept the words of a serial liar like Trump over others.

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