Hillary Clinton’s former communications director Nick Merrill ripped James Comey after his interview with ABC last night, accusing the fired FBI director of handing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.
In a seemingly endless Twitter thread, Merrill broke down his thoughts on the blockbuster ABC interview — beginning with Comey’s lack of “leadership”:
“Let’s start by giving Comey his due and look at his premise for writing this book: Leadership. It’s in the title of the book and he uses it 21 times throughout the interview. He tells George Stephanopoulos that he plans to spend his time going forward giving lectures on leadership… Yet, when questioned about the past, Comey resorts to his folksy, matter-of-fact posture that allows any questions that might have provided some clarity to slide right off of him. Comey used the word “maybe” 37 times in the interview. 8 of them were in one answer. For a lawyer and law enforcement professional at the highest levels, it’s a curious tactic, but useful when talking to press, allowing him to avoid having to be to definitive about anything.”
Merrill went on to point out instances when Comey should have “maybe” acted differently while acting as FBI director, including talking to former attorney general Loretta Lynch about concerns of bias instead “of holding a press conference.”
“‘Maybe’ he should have stood up to Trump instead of offering him “honest loyalty,’” Merrill added.
“So along those same lines, I’d posit that ‘maybe’ James Comey has nothing against Hillary Clinton,” he continued. “‘Maybe’ he didn’t need to investigate the case for all those months leading Americans to believe Hillary Clinton had done something wrong when, as he says himself, he looked at 50 years of cases and from the start knew there was nothing to prosecute.”
The former State Department official continued by accusing Comey of making “a public spectacle” of Clinton’s email investigation, which broke “Department norms” and “did nothing to quiet the Trump campaign from accusing the FBI of bias & did everything to make Americans feel uneasy.” He also pointed out Comey’s hypocrisy in his willingness to send a letter to Congress regarding Clinton’s investigation, as he thought she was winning, but later voiced concerns about considering “political fortunes,” since that “would be the end of the FBI and DOJ’s reputations,” when it came to Trump’s investigation.
“These are damningly contradictory statements,” argued Merrill. “The FBI’s reputation is worse than it has been in decades, maybe ever. He was correct in his prediction. The difference seems to be that he didn’t think acting against Hillary Clinton would change her ‘political fortune.’”
He concluded by invoking a quote from America’s first president George Washington, a figure Comey frequently quotes: “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.”
“Profiting indeed. 850,000 copies of his book have been printed and will likely sell, with scores of paid speeches on leadership that will accompany that,” wrote Merrill. “But yes, Hillary Clinton is the one that should go away.”
Read Merrill’s whole thread here.
[images via screengrab]