James Comey had a succinct reply to Donald Trump’s Twitter tirade against him on Saturday, quoting Franklin Delano Roosevelt to further needle the president.
Trump took to Twitter to respond to a report that the FBI opened an investigation after Comey’s firing, in an effort to determine if Trump could have been working directly for Russia. As Trump slammed Comey as a “total sleaze,” the former FBI director had a much shorter reply.
“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made,” he wrote, attributing it to FDR.
Comey had long been a target for Donald Trump, who, in his Twitter storm on Saturday, accused the former FBI director of lying and being hated by members of both parties.
“Funny thing about James Comey,” he wrote. “Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn’t know anything (a lie).”
Trump’s attack came in response to the bombshell New York Times report that senior members of the FBI became so concerned by Trump’s behavior after firing Comey that they opened an investigation — separate from the ongoing investigation about whether his campaign colluded with Russia — to determine if he was working directly on behalf of Russia against American interests.
“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” — FDR— James Comey (@Comey) January 12, 2019
Counterintelligence officers wanted to know whether Donald Trump constituted a threat to American national security, the report noted, and also wanted to determine if Trump had somehow unwittingly come under the influence of Russia. The report did not say exactly what this investigation determined.
Just after firing Comey, Trump met with Russian officials in a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office, telling them that he fired the “nut job” Comey and that the firing took pressure off the Russia investigation. Trump had also come under fire for the meeting with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, for revealing classified and potentially dangerous intelligence from an Israeli counterterrorism operation.
Trump’s anger toward Comey may have only deepened his troubles. The firing of James Comey led directly to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel and the development of the Russia investigation. Trump has repeatedly slammed the investigation as a witch hunt and directly attacked Mueller, a longtime registered Republican, as an “angry Democrat” set out to hurt him politically.