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Comey ‘disgusted’ by Trump’s attempts to show closeness, friend says



What was going through former FBI Director James Comey’s mind when Trump pulled him in for a hug at an event for law enforcement officials?

“He was disgusted by the episode,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, editor in chief of the Lawfare blog and a friend of Mr. Comey, recalled in an interview with PBS NewsHour, in which he spoke about what the former FBI director has told him about his relationship with the president.

Comey did not want to attend the Jan. 22 ceremony at the White House, organized to thank officers who had worked during the inauguration. Comey, who is 6’8”, wore a blue blazer to try to blend into blue drapes in the room, Wittes said, standing as far away from Trump as possible. Wittes said Trump singled Comey out and called him across the room. Comey extended his hand, and Trump pulled him into a hug.

“[Comey] thought it was an intentional attempt to compromise him in public, in a way that would so … emphasize concerns that half of the electorate had about him and the bureau,” Wittes said.

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