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James Comey Met President Trump on His Own Terms – and Came Away Looking Smaller

James Comey Met President Trump on His Own Terms – and Came Away Looking Smaller
From TIME - April 15, 2018

James Comeys splashy interview Sunday night with George Stephanopoulos on ABC Newss 20/20 showed the fired former FBI director, promoting his new memoir, as a man at ease in front of cameras. That should come as little surprise to anyone whos followed the news since the 2016 election.

His highlight reel of TV appearances stacks up well against those of many in the uniquely TV-friendly Trump Administrationif not that of our former Apprentice-hosting commander-in-chief. And on ABC, the lawman met President Donald Trump on his own reality-TV-ready terms.

Comey, dressed flashilyespecially by the standards of a lifelong fedin a cerulean plaid blazer with naggingly eye-catching gold-stitched label buttonhole, described his first impressions of the President this way: He had impressively coiffed hair: It looks to be all his.His tie was too long, as it always is. He looked slightly orange up close with small white half moons under his eyes, which I assume are from tanning googles. This was the interviews opening; at the end of a frantically paced hour, Comey declared that Trump was morally unfit to be President.

Both anglesthe petty jibes over appearance and the high-flying discussion of moral fitnesssuit the TV personality from whom viewers know by now to expect a flair for a certain self-dramatizing rectitude. In his July 2016 appearance before cameras to announce the FBI was not recommending criminal charges against then-candidate Hillary Clinton, Comey began, This will be an unusual statement in at least a couple ways.

Eleven monthsand an eralater, Comey made headlines after his assiduously camera-ready declaration before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Lordy, he hoped there are tapes of his private conversations with Trump.

It would seem that Comey, now free to express his disdain for Trump, would have a special power as Trumps exact opposite, not just a nemesis but someone whose core traits are diametrically opposed to the Presidents own. And yet much in ABCs special conspired to make him seem less like the avenger prepared to take the President down than just another player in a game whose rules Trump himself has set forth. Comey, a giant of a man (hes 6-foot-8) who dominated the frame on ABC as elsewhere, has seemed odd before, but hed never before seemed quite so small.

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