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Trump Slammed Comey for ‘Erratic’ Behavior in Previously Unseen Letter

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling

Just days before President Trump fired James Comey in May 2017, he assailed his FBI director for “erratic” and “self-indulgent” conduct in a four-page letter that was never sent because White House lawyers advised against it. 

The letter was finally made public Monday after ABC News received a copy of its contents.

“Your conduct has grown unpredictable and even erratic – including rambling and self-indulgent public performances that have baffled experts, citizens and law enforcement professionals alike – making it impossible for you to effectively lead this agency,” Trump wrote to Comey.

The letter assailed Comey for “spen[ding] too much time cultivating a public image, and not enough time getting your own house in order.”

About half the letter addressed Comey’s handling of the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. That included Comey’s congressional testimony shortly before the letter was penned. In the letter, Trump called the testimony “another media circus full of unprofessional conjecture, bizarre legal theories, and irresponsible speculation.”

The letter then falsely claimed that Comey’s “strange legal decisions and contradictory public statements” had “sowed confusion” and inspired “a near-rebellion by many rank-and-file agents” within the FBI.

The letter also chided Comey’s “failure” to prevent “rampant leaking. 

“You’ve shown a total inability to control leaks, both within and outside the agency. As a result, intelligence — real and fake – has been weaponized into an instrument of partisan warfare,” the letter said.

Trump concluded, “America needs an FBI director who inspires confidence across all layers of government, and who the public believes to be fair, impartial and beyond reproach.”


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