By CATHERINE LUCEY, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican National Committee plans an aggressive response to an upcoming memoir by fired FBI director James Comey, with a focus on past Democratic criticism of Comey.
The RNC said Thursday it will use a website, digital ads and television surrogates seeking to discredit Comey, whose book "A Higher Loyalty," — out next week — promises to reveal new details about his conversations with President Trump and the Russia probe.
Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement that Comey is "a liar and a leaker, and his misconduct led both Republicans and Democrats to call for his firing."
The website, www.lyincomey.com, highlights Democratic criticism of Comey over his handling of the investigation into Clinton's email.
Trump fired Comey last May while he was leading the investigation into possible collusion between Trump's campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election. At the time, Trump said he was acting on the recommendation of Justice Department leaders who had faulted the FBI director for releasing "derogatory information" about Hillary Clinton at the conclusion of the email server investigation months earlier. He later said he was planning to fire him all along.
Trump has branded Comey a "leaker" and "liar" over Comey's revelation that he had directed a friend to release contents of memos he'd written documenting his conversations with the president to a reporter.
The president has also challenged the accuracy of Comey's description of their private conversations. Comey has said that in a series of one-on-one meetings, Trump pressed him to show "loyalty," to back off on the FBI investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and to disclose that Trump himself was not under investigation. Comey has said he refused on all points.
Trump has denied ever asking Comey for his "loyalty."
Democrats have been critical of Comey in the past. Following Clinton's loss, Democrats blamed Comey, citing his announcement shortly before the election that the FBI had reopened its investigation into her email use. But they rallied around him after Trump's firing, stressing the importance of the Russia probe.