President Donald Trump took to Twitter to demand a personal apology from former FBI Director James Comey, after Comey apologized on TV for his (mis)handling of the ‘Russiagate’ probe.
“So now Comey’s admitting he was wrong,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “Wow, but he’s only doing so because he got caught red handed. He was actually caught a long time ago. So what are the consequences for his unlawful conduct. Could it be years in jail? Where are the apologies to me and others, Jim?”
So now Comey’s admitting he was wrong. Wow, but he’s only doing so because he got caught red handed. He was actually caught a long time ago. So what are the consequences for his unlawful conduct. Could it be years in jail? Where are the apologies to me and others, Jim?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019
By “caught red handed,” Trump was likely referring to the publication of a report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General on Monday. The report found 17 irregularities, inaccuracies and omissions in the FBI’s FISA warrant application, used to obtain permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The warrant application was built heavily on a dossier of salacious and unproven gossip collected by former British spy Christopher Steele.
Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Inspector General Michael Horowitz said that the FBI’s “basic, fundamental, and serious errors” amounted to a “failure” by the “entire chain of command.”
Comey himself apologized to Fox News’ Christopher Wallace on Sunday, saying “I’m sorry” for misrepresenting the role of the Steele Dossier in kickstarting the investigation. “I was wrong” to say that the FISA process was followed correctly, he continued, admitting to “real sloppiness” in his agency.
In 2018, Comey said that he had “total confidence” that the FISA process was followed.
Trump’s tweet is not a shot out of the blue. The president has mentioned Comey on Twitter more than 100 times since taking office, accusing the former FBI chief of being a “liar and leaker,””slippery” and a “slimeball,” all for his handling of the ‘Russiagate’ probe and the Hillary Clinton email investigation.