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Tag: book

Ex-FBI Director Comey Compares Trump to Mafia Boss, Calls Presidency a ‘Forest Fire’

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Director James Comey pulls no punches in his explosive new memoir, portraying Donald Trump as a dangerous, delusional, self-obsessed and chronically dishonest bully whose presidency is a “forest fire” that threatens to undermine the nation’s values and norms.

“This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values,” Comey writes in “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.” “His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty.”

Comey, who served as FBI director from 2013 until Trump abruptly fired him in May 2017, also explains his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation and shares details about his upbringing and career at the bureau and Justice Department.

Here are five takeaways from the book, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday.

1. Trump like the mob

Comey likened the president to the mobsters he used to pursue as a federal prosecutor: “The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.” 

The president’s chronic dishonesty and bullying, Comey wrote, was central “to the entire enterprise of organized crime on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Comey warned: “We are experiencing a dangerous time in our country,” Comey writes, “with a political environment where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored, excused or rewarded.”

2. Trump’s obsession with the “golden showers thing”

Comey wrote that the president asked him four times to discredit the salacious, but unverified dossier in which ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele alleged Trump watched prostitutes pee on each other in a Moscow hotel suite.

“‘I’m a germaphobe,'” Comey quoted Trump saying. “‘There’s no way I would let people pee on each other around me. No way.'”

Trump said the claims were distressing to his wife.

“For about the fourth time, he argued that the ‘golden showers thing’ wasn’t true,” Comey wrote, saying Trump asked, “‘Can you imagine me, hookers?'”

3. The president’s “expressionless blue eyes”

During his first in-person session with Trump, Comey recalled the president’s appearance with great attention attention to detail.

“His face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles,” Comey wrote, describing Trump as having “expressionless blue eyes” and “impressively coifed, bright blond hair, which upon close inspection looked to be all his.”

Comey wrote that he never saw Trump laugh, which he suggested was a sign of the president’s “deep insecurity, his inability to be vulnerable or to risk himself by appreciating the humor of others, which, on reflection, is really very sad in a leader, and a little scary in a president.”

4. John Kelly calls Trump “dishonorable”

Just minutes after he was fired, Comey said he received “an emotional call” from John Kelly, then the head of Homeland Security and now the White House chief of staff.

During the call, Kelly said he intended to quit in protest because he didn’t want to work for dishonest people, referring specially to Trump. 

Comey wrote: “I urged Kelly not to do that, arguing that the country needed principled people around this president. Especially this president.”

5. Comey’s handling of the Clinton probe

In describing in controversial decision to publicly disclose the bureau was re-opening the Clinton investigation just 11 days before the election, Comey said he believed Clinton was going to win because of her favorable polls.

Comey wrote that he often questions whether that assumption influenced his decision to reveal the information.

“It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”

Comey, who told the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2017 that he felt “mildly nauseous” at the prospect that the disclosure changed the outcome of the election, wrote that he hopes “very much that what we did — what I did — wasn’t a deciding factor in the election.”

About a week after the testimony, Trump fired Comey, prompting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller.

Book: Indicted Ex-Campaign Aide Told Feds Trump Encouraged Meeting with Putin

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

George Papadopoulos, former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign and cooperating witness in the special counsel probe, told federal investigators that Donald Trump encouraged him to try and secure a secret meeting with Russian President Donald Trump, according to the book “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on Ametrica and the Election of Donald Trump,” by Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff and Mother Jones’ David Corn.

Papadopoulos, a 28-year-old political newcomer at the time, told Trump during a meeting on March 31, 2016, that he believed he could establish a meeting between Trump and the Russian leader.

According to the book, Trump considered the prospect “interesting” and encouraged Papadopoulos to arrange the meeting.

Papadopoulos, who agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s investigation after pleading guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI, shared the information with federal prosecutors, according to the book.

The information could prove to be helpful to Mueller’s team as investigators try to determine whether Trump or anyone else from his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere it the 2016 presidential election.

Trump continues to denounce the investigation as a fruitless “witch hunt” by top intelligence officials who want him out of the White House.

Fired FBI Director Comey to Break Silence in Televised Interview

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey, whom President Trump fired over “this Russian thing,” plans to break his silence in his first televised interview since his termination last year.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will interview Comey for a special “20/20” segment on April 15.

The former FBI boss wrote a book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership,” that will be published earlier than planned – April 17 – because of the relevance of the topics, the publisher said.

Trump initially said he fired Comey on May 9 because of the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation in the lead-up to the election. But the president later admitted he terminated Comey because of “this Russian thing,” referring to conclusions by numerous U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election.

Just eight days later, the Justice Department appointed Mueller, a former FBI director, to investigate Russia’s election meddling.

In testimony before lawmakers, Comey suggested he was fired after refusing Trump’s request to drop an investigation into a former campaign aide.

Comey served as the FBI director from 2013 to 2017.

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Paints Unflattering Portrait of Agency’s Treatment of Migrants

Francisco Cantú’s memoir, “The Line Becomes a River.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Francisco Cantú’s memoir, “The Line Becomes a River,” chronicles the four years he spent as a Border Patrol agent in the deserts of the American southwest.

The memoir, which Mother Jones called “the best book on immigration you will read this year,” provides a rare, unflattering glimpse into an agency with enormous power. 

Cantú, whose father was born in Mexico, became incensed over the inhumane treatment of migrants, prompting him to flee the agency and help support a family facing deportation.

“It’s true that we slash their bottles and drain their water into the dry earth, that we dump their backpacks and pile their food and clothes to be crushed and pissed on and stepped over, strewn across the desert and set ablaze,” Cantú wrote.

Cantú’s book is a ““a must-read for anyone who thinks ‘build a wall’ is the answer to anything,’” Esquire

Book: High-Level Trump Officials Believe He Won’t Survive First Term

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Many of President Trump’s high-level staff members believe the special counsel’s Russia investigation will lead to his resignation or impeachment before his first term is over, according to the new explosive book on the White House and presidential campaign.

Journalist and author Michael Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” which was released Friday, claims insiders were dumbfounded by the president’s “inability to grasp how much Mueller had on him and his family,” GQ reports

Whatever the substance of the Russia ‘collusion,’ Trump, in the estimation of his senior staff, did not have the discipline to navigate a tough investigation, nor the credibility to attract the caliber of lawyers he would need to help him,” Wolff wrote. According to the book, Trump’s White House chief strategist Steve Bannon told colleagues that the president has a one-in-three chance of surviving his first full term.

Wolff wrote, “Everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. It used to be inside of 30 minutes he’d repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories—now it was within 10 minutes. Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions—he just couldn’t stop saying something.”

Trump Fires Back at Bannon with Cease-And-Desist Letter

Steve Bannon, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to former White House chief adviser Steve Bannon, claiming he violated a non-disclosure agreement signed as part of working on Trump’s campaign.

ABC reports the letter orders Bannon to refrain from making disparaging comments about Trump or his family. 

The notice was sent on the same day that excerpts of a new book about the Trump campaign and administration were revealed in the Guardian. Bannon, who was forced out of the White House after seven months on the job, mocked Trump, his family and the campaign’s inner circle, accusing some of them of breaking the law.

“You have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company [the Trump campaign], disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members,” Trump attorney Charles Harder wrote.

In the excerpts, Bannon said it was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for Trump’s son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to meet with a Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Bannon also suggested there was “zero” chance Trump was not aware of the meeting.

Allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the presidential allegations prompted the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller, in May. Since then, four members of Trump’s inner circle have been indicted – and two have already pleaded guilty and plan to cooperate with the special counsel’s team.

Bannon Slams Trump, Campaign for Relationship with Russia

Former top aide to President Trump, Steve Bannon.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s long-time ally and former White House chief adviser Steve Bannon slammed the president, his family and top campaign aides over their relationship with Russia and said the special counsel investigation may reveal some serious, sloppy crimes.

The snarky, candid and explosive remarks were revealed in excerpts of the forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a scathing account based on more than 200 interviews with the president and his administration.

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

Bannon, who also served as chief executive of Trump’s presidential election, said it was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for Trump’s son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to meet with a Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower during the 2016 election. 

Just hours after the Guardian posted the story about Bannon’s comments Wednesday, Trump blasted his former confidant, saying he “lost his mind” and had “very little to do with our historic victory.”

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Trump said in a combative statement. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.”

Trump’s dismissive comments and suggestions that Bannon is lying contradict fawning statements the president made about his former top adviser when he was forced out of the White House after seven months and returned to the right-wing Breitbart News.

In an interview with the book’s author, Michael Wolff, Bannon described some of Trump’s top campaign aides as naive, unethical and clumsy, seemingly unaware of the repercussions of meeting with a Russian attorney who pledged to provide documents that would “incriminate” Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Bannon said he was dumbfounded.

“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor – with no lawyers. They didn’t have any lawyers.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.”

Bannon even suggested Trump was aware of the Trump Tower meeting.

“The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”

Bannon, who previously criticized the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, said he doesn’t expect a conclusion to the special counsel investigation anytime soon. He added that the probe into alleged collision with the Kremlin will focus on money laundering, saying, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”

Since Robert Mueller was appointed in May to lead the Russia-Trump investigation, four members of Trump’s inner circle have been indicted – and two have already pleaded guilty and plan to cooperate with the special counsel’s team.

Bannon’s surprising candor undermines claims by Trump and his conservative allies that the investigation is a “witch hunt” perpetuated by a biased FBI bent on destroying the president. 

Bannon used a hurricane metaphor to describe the mood in the White House: “They’re sitting on a beach trying to stop a Category Five.”

Ex-FBI Agent Writes True-Crime Book about Civil Rights Abuses in Small Texas Town

Former FBI agent writes true-crime book.

Former FBI agent writes true-crime book.


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent is writing his first true-crime book about corruption, extortion and staged burglaries in the unlikely Texas town of Tenaha.

Former Agent Stewart Fillmore began investigating the case in 2009 and has turned it into a book entitled, “Tenaha: Corruption and Cover-Up in Small Town Texas.”

“You know dirty public officials. I think that’s an intriguing topic to a lot of people,” Fillmore told KTRE.

The case involved a federal civil lawsuit that accused elected officials in the small town of stopping black motorists and seeing their money and property under the threat of arrest.

“There was nothing that we found to be illegal that would rise to the level of putting someone in jail,” Fillmore said.

Fillmore got a break int he case after receiving a letter by then-Constable Fred Walker.

“It was an extortion letter and it was from someone calling themselves Jack Frost,” Fillmore said. “Jack Frost claimed that Fred Walker and another individual named Rod McClure were stealing narcotics out of the Tenaha City Marshal’s evidence room and that Jack Frost, in this extortion letter, wanted $70,000 from both of them for his silence.”