In advance of a publicity tour by James B. Comey to promote his new book, the Republican National Committee is preparing a widespread campaign to undercut his credibility, including a new website that dubs the former FBI director as “Lyin’ Comey.”
The website, maintained by the Republican National Committee, prominently features quotes from Democrats highly critical of Comey before his firing by Trump nearly a year ago as the president grew agitated by the Russia probe.
RNC officials say their effort will also include digital ads, a “war room” to monitor Comey’s television appearances, a rapid response team to rebut his claims in real time and coordination of Trump surrogates to fan out across other TV programs.
The broadside against Comey comes as he set to begin a media tour to tout his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” which is expected to be brutally critical of Trump.
In advance of the book’s release on Tuesday, Comey is scheduled to appear in an interview airing Sunday night with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. A teaser for the interview says Comey compares Trump to a “mob boss.”
“James B. Comey’s publicity tour is a self-serving attempt to make money and rehabilitate his own image,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “If Comey wants the spotlight back on him, we’ll make sure the American people understand why he has no one but himself to blame for his complete lack of credibility.”
Trump’s firing of Comey set off a chain of events that have endangered Trump’s presidency. The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to probe Russian interference in the 2016 election — and possible collusion with the Trump campaign — in the aftermath of the firing.
Comey was a registered Republican for most of his adult life, although he has said no longer is. He was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and deputy attorney general by President George W. Bush; he was appointed FBI director by President Barack Obama.
With the Mueller probe escalating — including the FBI raid this week of Trump’s personal lawyer’s home and office — Comey’s media appearances could pose a major public relations challenge for the White House.
Following Sunday’s interview, Comey has numerous other bookings, including news programs as well as appearances with CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert and the ladies of “The View.”
Among those quoted on the RNC website is the 2016 Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, who argued her campaign was seriously undercut by the FBI’s investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state. “Badly overstepped his bounds,” Clinton is quoted as saying of Comey.
Other Democrats quoted include Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) (“I do not