FBI director’s bombshell revelation
EXPLOSIVE detail has been leaked from former FBI director James Comey's new book, in which he claims the White House chief of staff called Donald Trump "dishonourable" and said he was "sick" over what was happening in Washington.
An "emotional" John Kelly, then head of the Department of Homeland Security, called Mr Comey within minutes that news of his firing emerged, according to the former intelligence boss's forthcoming memoir.
Mr Kelly allegedly "said he didn't want to work for dishonourable people," claimed Mr Comey, after Mr Trump had sacked the FBI chief in an apparent fury over the Bureau's investigation into his campaign team's alleged collusion with Russia.
Mr Kelly said he was "sick" about the situation and "intended to quit" in protest, the book alleges.
The phone call was first reported last year by CNN, but details of the conversation have emerged after contents from Mr Comey's memoir A Higher Loyalty were leaked to the Daily Beast.
Mr Comey said he convinced Mr Kelly not to leave, saying "this president", more than those before him, needed to be surrounded by people with integrity.
But the revelation in his book could trigger an exit for the White House chief of staff, with Mr Trump already making it clear he can operate without Mr Kelly, who reportedly offered his resignation in February.
It is just the first of a string of dramatic claims said to be included in the book.
A source told Axios that Mr Comey's first interview since he was fired, set to air on Sunday at 10pm in the US, will "shock the President and his team" and "certainly add more meat to the charges swirling around Trump."
Mr Comey allegedly compares Mr Trump to a mob boss in the 20/20 interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
The interview was reportedly a surreal experience, and left people in the room stunned.
But the White House is already pouring cold water on the claims Mr Comey will make in his memoir, which is out on Tuesday.
A senior official disputed the former FBI chief's account of the call, saying Mr Kelly did not call Mr Trump dishonourable and maintained it was a brief, one-minute conversation along the lines of, "I don't know why you got fired, best of luck to you."
The blurb for Mr Comey's book promises the former FBI boss - who served as US deputy Attorney-General for George W. Bush and was appointed to the intelligence agency by Barack Obama in 2009 - will share "his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions.
"His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.
"From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration's policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history."
The White House has been preparing to tackle Mr Comey's claims by painting him as someone lacking credibility and out for revenge.
The website LyinComey.com, which CNN reports was approved by Washington, features an advert showing Democrats criticising the ex-FBI chief's decision-making. One of them is Mrs Clinton, who partially blamed her election loss on Mr Comey reviving an investigation into her use of private email server just before the vote.