U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday blasted former FBI director James Comey as an "untruthful slime ball," and said it was his "great honor" to fire him.
Trump's barrage of insults comes as Comey engages in a publicity campaign for his book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership," which is set to be released next week.
The memoir promises a deep look at Comey's fraught relationship with the U.S. president who fired him, and whom Comey has accused of interfering in the independence of the FBI.
On Twitter, Trump said Comey should be prosecuted.
James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
....untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
Trump's comments are in line with an online campaign, organized by his supporters, to discredit Comey.
The Republican National Committee on Thursday launched a new website, Lyin'Comey.com, which features quotes from prominent Democrats who have criticized the former FBI director in the past. The GOP plans to fact-check Comey's book and use the website for "rapid response" to highlight any "misstatements" or "contradictions," Fox News reports.
A Higher Loyalty
Comey's book blasts Trump as unethical and "untethered to truth'' and calls his leadership of the country "ego driven and about personal loyalty.'' The book also contains several personal jabs at Trump, including references to what Comey says are the "bright white half-moons" under Trump's eyes, which he surmises were the result of Trump using tanning goggles.
Comey also casts Trump as a Mafia boss-like figure who sought to blur the line between law enforcement and politics, and tried to pressure him regarding his investigation into Russian election interference, according to multiple early reviews of the book.
Trump fired Comey in May 2017, setting off a storm of charges from Democrats that the president sought to hinder an investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russians.
The firing led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation. Mueller's probe has expanded to include whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, an idea the president denies. Trump has assailed Comey as a "showboat'' and a "liar.''
The release of the book comes at a particularly sensitive moment for Trump and the White House. Officials there describe Trump as enraged over a recent FBI raid of his personal lawyer's home and office, raising the prospect that he could fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, or try to shut down the probe on his own.