arabsvoice – The Republican National Committee worked with the White House to draft a 1,000-word talking points memo for President Trump, his administration, and GOP state officials across the country to use amid coverage of former FBI Director James Comey’s book release and publicity tour later this month.
The Washington Examiner has obtained the full document the RNC’s rapid response team created and sent to members across the nation Thursday morning.
The GOP’s plan of attack leads with focusing on Comey’s “long history of misstatements and misconduct,” including how his “misconduct damaged the FBI’s reputation” and his history of being “strongly criticized by members of both parties for his history of bizarre decisions, contradictory statements.”
The talking points obtained by the Washington Examiner reveal Comey is also painted as a “consummate Washington insider who knows how to work the media to protect his flanks.”
The GOP listed three examples from 2017 of times Comey did an about-face.
“Comey contradicted his own allegation that President Trump interfered in the Russia investigation in prior testimony to Congress,” the first example states. “In June 2017, he testified that the President ‘direct[ed]’ him to stop investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. However, one month earlier, Comey testified that the FBI had never been told to stop an investigation for political reasons.”
“Comey contradicted himself on his leaking of information about ongoing federal investigations. In May 2017, he testified that he had never leaked information as an anonymous source about the Trump or [Hillary] Clinton investigations. One month later, he admitted he had used a close friend to leak his memos to the press in order to prompt a special counsel investigation.
“Comey presented gross inaccuracies during his congressional testimony, damaging his reputation. He told Congress that a top aide to Clinton had ‘sent hundreds of thousands of emails to her husband’s laptop’ with classified information,” the third example states. “In fact, only a ‘small number’ of emails were sent to that laptop, and of those, only two contained classified information.”
The final example cites the Washington Post for its analysis that Comey’s reputation as nonpartisan was “severely damaged” after his congressional testimony.
The memo then lays out incidents in which Comey, who Trump fired last May, made “bizarre” decisions that include “usurping the authority of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch” and relying on an “unreliable” document to make his July 2016 decision that Clinton not be recommended to the Justice Department for misdoings.
Comey “broke longstanding FBI and DOJ protocol several times by publicly acknowledging the existence of ongoing FBI investigations,” including his October 2016 announcement of new Clinton emails.
The RNC said Democrats have only recently backed Comey because of his opposition to Trump.
“As they inevitably take to the airwaves to bash President Trump’s decision to fire Comey, Democrats should be forced to explain why they take that position now after saying in 2016 and 2017 Comey had damaged the institution of law enforcement and lost all credibility,” the talking points state.
Following Comey’s October 2016 announcement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Comey was perhaps “not in the right job,” former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Comey should “of course” resign, Sen. Bernie Sanders said “it would not be a bad thing for the American people” if he resigned from the FBI, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer admitted he did “not have the confidence in him any longer.”
Clinton running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, said Comey’s actions in 2016 were among the “lowest moments in the history of the FBI.” Former Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt., said Comey might have “destroyed the credibility of the FBI forever” and was working on the side of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Clinton herself said Comey overstepped his bounds as FBI director, the GOP reminds members.
“Americans will remember that his attempts to smear the Trump administration are nothing more than retaliation by a disgraced former official,” the memo concludes.
Comey’s memoir, A Higher Loyalty, will be published Tuesday, April 17.
:Here are the full talking points