President Donald Trump took aim at former FBI Director James Comey Friday in a strongly worded tweet, calling him an "untruthful slime ball" and saying that he should be prosecuted for allegedly leaking "CLASSIFIED information."
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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later backed up the president's rebuke – calling Comey "a disgraced partisan hack."
"One of the president's greatest achievements will go down as firing Director Comey," Sanders said.
The comments come after details from Comey's new book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership," were recently revealed in addition to comments Comey made to ABC News in an exclusive interview with ABC News' chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
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.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
....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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
The White House Friday presented no evidence that any information leaked by Comey was classified.
The interview between Comey and Stephanopoulos will air Sunday night on ABC at 10 p.m. ET.
During Friday's press briefing Sanders calling Comey's book a "poorly executed PR stunt by Comey to desperately rehabilitate his tattered reputation and enrich his own bank account by peddling a book that belongs in the bargain bin of the fiction section."
Sanders criticized the ongoing media coverage of Comey's book, as well as the upcoming ABC News interview.
"Congress has asked Jim Comey to come and testify multiple times, of which he's denied being able to do," Sanders said. "Yet he found time to sit down with George Stephanopoulos for five hours."
In the interview, Comey says the president asked him to investigate the unverified and salacious allegations in the infamous dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele in order to "prove that it didn't happen."
Among the allegations, which Trump has vehemently denied, was an alleged sexual encounter with prostitutes in Russia in 2013. Comey said he recalled Trump discussing the dossier during a dinner with the president on Jan. 27, 2017.
“He may want me to investigate it to prove that it didn't happen," Comey recalled in the interview. "And then he says something that distracted me because he said, you know, ‘If there's even a 1 percent chance my wife thinks that's true, that's terrible.’
“‘And I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there's a 1 percent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?’ I'm a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true," Comey recalled during the interview. "So, what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think [that] there's only a 99 percent chance you didn't do that?”
Comey also claimed that Trump then said, “I may order you to investigate that.”
The dossier and its allegations have caused great consternation for the president since their existence was revealed last January and Trump has tweeted extensively about it.
Trump has repeatedly attempted to brand Comey as a liar and suggested he leaked classified information to reporters.
James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
Comey conceded he shared with a friend the contents of a memo he wrote about a key meeting with Trump.
"So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter," Comey said during Congressional testimony last year. He said he constructed the memo specifically so that it did not contain classified information.
The friend, identified as Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman, denied that the documents had classified markings.