Washington • White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday that President Donald Trump is perplexed that fired FBI director James Comey is receiving so much attention for what she characterized as a “revisionist” version of his limited interactions with her boss.
“The president is very confounded that this person is always able to divert the spotlight to him,” Conway said during an appearance on “Good Morning America” on ABC. “He has a very deft way of making things about him.”
Her comments came the morning after Comey, in his first televised interview since being fired last year, said he believed Trump was “morally unfit” to be president and recounted several meetings with him, including one in which Comey says Trump asked for his loyalty.
Conway said that, in her view, Comey “struggled to answer basic questions and he looked a little shaky” during the interview that aired Sunday night.
“This is somebody who’s giving a revisionist version of history,” Conway told host George Stephanopoulos, who also conducted the interview of Comey. “The president hardly knew the man.
“This man, Jim Comey, loves to be within the proximity of power,” Conway added. “He loved being alone in the Oval Office.”
Conway’s pushback is part of a concerted effort by the White House and Republican National Committee to undermine Comey’s credibility as he conducts a media blitz to promote his book, “A Higher Calling: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” which is set to be released Tuesday.
After the ABC interview of Comey on Sunday night, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote on Twitter that Comey “has no credibility” and that Trump was right to fire him.
“Comey’s PR tour reaffirms that his true higher loyalty is to himself,” she wrote. “The only thing worse than his history of misconduct is his willingness to say anything to sell books.”
Conway also complained to Stephanopoulos that Comey was given a “free commercial” to urge viewers to vote against Trump.
In the interview that aired Sunday, Comey said that he would not favor impeaching Trump to remove him from office, because that “would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they’re duty-bound to do directly” — meaning through elections.
“At the end of your interview, George, he gave a free political commercial, telling people to go out there and vote against the president and his interests,” Conway said.
Trump lambasted Comey in a series of tweets before the ABC interview aired, calling him “slippery” and a “slime ball.” As of early Monday morning, the president had not commented directly since the interview aired.