Former FBI Director James Comey didn't mince words when describing President Trump to associates: He was "outside the realm of normal" and "crazy," people with knowledge of his conversations told The New York Times.
Comey and Trump were never in sync; the president was angry that Comey didn't back him up on his baseless claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, and he didn't think Comey did enough to stop leaks coming from the FBI, while Comey, besides thinking Trump was "crazy," worried he was a loose cannon who said inappropriate things, especially on Twitter, the Times reports. Trump was also outraged when Comey, during a hearing on Capitol Hill, said he was "mildly nauseous" at the thought that the way he handled Hillary Clinton's email investigation tipped the election to favor Trump, and that motivated him to fire Comey. "With a president who seems to prize personal loyalty above all else and a director with absolute commitment to the Constitution and pursuing investigations wherever the evidence led, a collision was bound to happen," Daniel C. Richman, a Comey adviser, told the Times.
Trump said he thought Comey's dismissal would go over well with Democrats, who didn't like how he bungled the Clinton case, and Trump was shocked when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had been critical of Comey, told him during a phone call Tuesday it was a mistake. In another twist, chief strategist Stephen Bannon, no fan of the FBI, had urged Trump to hold off on the firing of Comey because of the timing, but Trump was supported by Vice President Mike Pence, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and chief of staff Reince Priebus, the Times reports. Read more about the unraveling of this hate-hate relationship at The New York Times.