A Higher Loyalty
James Comey
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 13
Summary

From the day of inauguration, the FBI Director, Comey, had made a deliberate attempt to keep a distance from President Donald Trump. Part of the reason was that there was narrative gaining momentum in some quarters that he had helped put the President in office, an allegation that seemed ridiculous. At a meeting called by President Donald Trump to thank the heads of the security agencies for the work they did during the inauguration, Comey reports that the president's swept the room, seeking the notable names to mention for special praise. Comey reports that the president's eyes bypassed him and settled on the Director of Secret Service who was seated next to him. At a certain time, the president invited the Director to a meeting in the White House, something that rarely happened. While it was disguised as a dinner, Comey realized that his job security was up for discussion.  In his own words, the director reports "I responded that I agreed he could fire the FBI director any time he wishes, but that I wanted to stay and do a job I loved and thought I was doing well." Comey proceeded to say that, "I said he could count on me to always tell him the truth." In these statements, Comey made it abundantly clear about the side on which he stood.

Analysis

Comey has made it abundantly clear that he will always tell the truth. When President Trump was sworn into office, he may have wanted an FBI director who was loyal to him and who he could dictate terms to. The president said, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty." The director responded, "You will always get honesty from me," Comey proved to be the opposite of what the president desired. He indicated that he was on the side of truth and the law. In the face of the bold comments, it was unlikely that Comey would get along with the new president. It is not the duty of the FBI director to be loyal to the president. That would interfere with the independence that the office desires to execute his responsibilities.

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