Kaboom! Chris Wallace Takes James Comey’s ‘Bitchy,’ ‘Political Food Fight’ Book to the Woodshed

On Friday morning, our friends at Grabien flagged down quite the takedown of the much-anticipated book by James Comey thanks to Chris Wallace. The Fox News Sunday anchor ripped into the former FBI Director for having written a “bitchy” book full of “opinions” lacking bombshells that could do “more damage to his own reputation than he has to President Trump’s.”

Speaking on America’s Newsroom to co-host Sandra Smith, Wallace told her almost immediately upon being asked about it that “what strikes me is how little new there is in the book” with “a lot of opinions, very unpleasant opinions of the President by James Comey but in terms of hard facts, people are talking about bombshells” of which “[t]here are none.”

 

 

Wallace noted that much of what Comey stated about actual “facts of what the President did” were things he’s already stated in public to congressional committees. For all the disdain, Wallace pointed to Comey’s admission that “while he thinks the President’s behavior may have been unethical, it may not have been illegal.”

Then Wallace dropped the hammer:

The other thing that surprises me frankly is how bitchy the book is. Comey goes out of his way to say the President isn’t as tall as he thought he was. He checked out the size of his hands the first time they shook hands. That he noticed the President seemed to have little white half-moons under his eyes. Maybe he had sun-tanning goggles that he wore. You know, I think, one could argue that by getting into the kind of political food fight that James Comey has done more damage to his own reputation than he has to President Trump’s.

Smith then inquired about Comey comparing Trump to a mob boss and, once again, Wallace was not impressed. 

“What you get is Comey's opinions. He doesn't like Donald Trump....but you know in terms of real damage, people talk about bombshells, all of that is going to be like Fire and Fury, the Michael Wolff book. It will be a Fourth of July sparkler that burns bright for a week and then just peters out....[Y]ou know, opinions or comparisons or rhetoric isn't going to hurt the president. Facts will and there aren't a lot of new facts in this book,” Wallace brutally opined.

He wasn’t done, closing out the segment by arguing that the President shouldn’t be tweeting about Comey but instead of not commenting because that would “help the book disappear as quickly as possible” that contains “no new hard evidence of any crime, of anything illegal.”

To see the relevant transcript from FNC’s America’s Newsroom on April 13, click “expand.”

FNC’s America’s Newsroom
April 13, 2018
10:04 p.m. Eastern

SANDRA SMITH: Meanwhile, everybody talking about James Comey's book in Washington this morning. 

CHRIS WALLACE: Oh, sure. I have to say I haven’t seen a copy of it, but I may be the only person in America who hasn’t. The New York Times has it on the front page and The Washington Post has it and what strikes me is how little new there is in the book. We get a lot of opinions, very unpleasant opinions of the President by James Comey but in terms of hard facts, people are talking about bombshells. There are none. Basically everything that he said in terms of the facts of what the President did, he already has testified before congressional committee and in fact, at one point he says that, while he thinks the President’s behavior may have been unethical, it may not have been illegal. The other thing that surprises me frankly is how bitchy the book is. Comey goes out of his way to say the President isn’t as tall as he thought he was. He checked out the size of his hands the first time they shook hands. That he noticed the President seemed to have little white half-moons under his eyes. Maybe he had sun-tanning goggles that he wore. You know, I think, one could argue that by getting into the kind of political food fight that James Comey has done more damage to his own reputation than he has to President Trump’s.

SMITH: Perhaps all just to sell more books, Chris, but one thing you left out there is this attack and comparison to being to a mob boss that he made. Here is the excerpt from the book: “The boss in complete control. The loyalty oath. 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.” What did you make of that comparison and that excerpt? 

WALLACE: Again, I mean, it goes back to my original point. What you get is Comey's opinions. He doesn't like Donald Trump and he’s offended by Donald Trump and he thinks Donald Trump is a bad guy and yes, he does compare him to a mob boss, but you know in terms of real damage, people talk about bombshells, all of that is going to be like Fire and Fury, the Michael Wolff book. It will be a Fourth of July sparkler that burns bright for a week and then just peters out. It’s not flattering to the president but it doesn't seem to me that — you know, opinions or comparisons or rhetoric isn't going to hurt the President. Facts will and there aren't a lot of new facts in this book. In fact, if I were the President, I know he sent out this quite nasty tweet this morning and called him a slime ball —

SMITH: He did.

WALLACE: — and a liar and a leaker. 

SMITH: He did.

WALLACE: All he’s doing is to helping to sell books. He ought to be quiet. I suspect this book will disappear within a week. 

SMITH: And here are those tweets firing back at Comey. The President writes this morning He says this: “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.........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!” Says the President this morning.

WALLACE: Yeah, strong letter to follow. I understand why he wants to do it. Obviously, there is a lot of stuff in the book he is going to find personally insulting, but not that the President listens to me or should. But it seems to me that the real story in this book is that there’s no new hard evidence of any crime, of anything illegal, and it doesn't really change the equation on President Trump and what he ought to do is help the book disappear as quickly as possible and the best thing to do from his point of view would be to ignore it. 

SMITH: Alright, good stuff.

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