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James Comey claims he thought about suing President Trump: 'I wonder if I should sue the bastard?'


Fantasized about going after Rudy Giuliani, too

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former FBI Director James Comey said this week that he considered suing President Donald Trump over personal public attacks the president leveled against him.

The onetime law enforcement head said the president's "false and defamatory" statements about him were "actionable," but ultimately, Comey said, it wasn't worth it to go after "the bastard," Mediaite reported.

What's this now?

The Comey-Trump spat has been an ongoing one. Trump was never happy that Comey didn't find a way to charge Hillary Clinton for her infamous use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state. The president also allegedly wanted Comey to drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, which Comey reportedly refused.

After months of acrimony, Trump fired Comey, an action that ultimately led to the Mueller investigation.

The two have not stopped ripping each other since.

In April 2018, just a week before Comey's tell-all book was set to be published, President Trump took to Twitter to rip the former FBI head with personal attacks, Vox said. The tweets have since been blocked following Twitter's move to de-platform the president, but they are still viewable via the Wayback Machine internet archive here and here.

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!

Image source: Twitter via Wayback Machine internet archive

Image source: Twitter via Wayback Machine internet archive

Comey made his claims about thinking about suing Trump during an interview with Mediaite founder and ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams on Monday's episode of "The Dan Abrams Show."

Abrams asked the former FBI chief if he had thought about suing Trump — or Trump allies — for things they had said about him.

Comey responded that he had, but figured it wasn't worth his time and elected not to even bring it up with his own legal team.

"It's funny you should ask that," Comey told Abrams. "Yes, occasionally it has popped in my head. And I've decided it's not worth giving them the attention that would involve or giving them the space in my head that that would require. I'd rather just not follow him on Twitter — thank goodness he's not on Twitter anymore — and not have to deal with it."

But he did think he had legal grounds to sue.

"He said so many things that were false and defamatory about me that would have been actionable, and I just thought, 'I wonder if I should sue the bastard?'" he continued.

Ultimately, though, he said he decided, "You know what, it's not worth giving him that airtime — which he craves — and letting him in my head that much."

So, Abrams wanted to know, if he's not going to sue Trump, what about suing Trump's allies?

It turns out Comey has fantasized about suing at least one member of Team Trump: Rudy Giulliani, who was Comey's boss when the former New York City mayor was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in the 1980s, Mediaite noted.

"Occasionally it's been a fantasy with respect to my former boss, Rudy Giuliani," Comey said, adding, "but no more than a very brief fantasy."

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