WASHINGTON — James Comey, the former FBI director, has compared the U.S. president to a “mob boss” in an interview ahead of the release of his new book.
Comey was fired by Donald Trump last May and is promoting A Higher Loyalty, his book, which is being published on Tuesday.
The firing of the FBI chief is seen as one of Trump’s most controversial decisions in office and led to questions over whether it amounted to obstruction of justice — one of the grounds for impeachment.
Comey’s book has already soared up bestseller list thanks to pre-orders in anticipation of the revelations it may include about his relationship with Trump.
ABC News has released a trailer of the interview, in which the former intelligence chief is asked: “How strange is it for you to sit here and compare the president to a mob boss?”
The interview, which airs in the U.S. on Sunday evening, is “going to shock the president and his team,” a source told the political website Axios.
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The source added that the revelations left people in the room “stunned.” A teaser clip of Comey’s interview shows him being questioned on the Russia investigation into possible election meddling, Hillary Clinton and the president.
The firing of Comey, who was leading the Russia probe at the time, is a key event being looked at by Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to take over control of the investigation.
Mueller is reported to have interviewed Comey about the president’s behaviour in the run-up to his firing.
Comey’s book is due to be released just days after Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, had his offices raided by FBI agents.
The federal agents reportedly seized documents pertaining to Cohen’s payments to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump — accusations he vehemently denies. Since the raid, Trump has publicly speculated about firing Mueller, saying: “I think it’s really a sad situation. Many people have said you should fire him (Mueller).”
Senior Republicans have warned the president against such a move, as it would raise further questions over whether Trump was attempting to obstruct the Russia investigation.