On the Right, Meltdowns and Eye-Rolling as Comey Rips Trump

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In a remarkable hour-long interview to promote his new book, James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., was unsparing in his criticism of the president who fired him, describing Donald Trump as a philanderer, a wannabe mafioso, and a serial liar. “You cannot have, as president of the United States, someone who does not reflect the values that I believe Republicans treasure and Democrats treasure and independents treasure,” he told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos in the interview, which touched on subjects including the infamous Steele dossier, the letter he wrote concerning the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails just before the 2016 election, and why he thinks impeachment would be a mistake. “I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they’re duty bound to do directly,” he said at one point.The responses to the Comey interview on the right ranged from snide and underwhelmed to annoyed. “Now is the moment the Krassensteins, Eugene Gu, Ted Lieu, and Adam Schiff have been waiting all their lives for—have a fun night with Comey, boys!” Jack Posobiec tweeted. “And when you wake up tomorrow Trump will still be your President.” G.O.P. pollster Frank Luntz ran a focus group asking participants to describe Comey before the interview, and replies ranged from “Uhhh . . . Interesting” to ‘“Just trying to do his job,” to “Piece of shit.” “#ComeyInterview is boring,” Trump loyalist Cassandra Fairbanks tweeted. “Note the editing of clips in the #ComeyInterview and the former Clinton WH interviewer,” former Peter Thiel associate, entrepreneur, consultant, and Trump meme expert Jeff Giesea added. “This isn’t about Comey, it’s a very well-played skewering of Trump presidency. It’ll be effective in advancing the anti-Trump narrative.”Other networks, meanwhile, aired literal counter-programming. “Make sure you watch my buddy (the great one) Mark Levin on Fox at 10 P.M. eastern tonight!” Sean Hannity tweeted, referring to the author and lawyer who has been critical both of Comey and of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Hannity proceeded to spend the duration of Comey’s ABC interview tweeting angrily at Stephanopoulos. “Another ? @GStephanopoulos do you think it’s odd that a former F.B.I. Director is obsessed with the size of a Presidents hands, tie length, color of his skin, and eyes, crowd size?” he wrote, perhaps missing the irony in this observation. (“Hannity is going to need someone to hold him gently and bring in some baby wipes now that he's done,” Republican consultant Rick Wilson quipped after the interview ended.)Conservatives seemed quick to zero in on a particular quote from Comey in the context of the Clinton email investigation: “The reason I smile a little bit is anybody who's actually done investigations knows that if you've been investigating something for almost a year an
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