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Friend: Comey experienced ‘grotesque impropriety’ from Trump

The Hill logo The Hill 6/18/2017 Mallory Shelbourne
Comey friend: Comey experienced ‘grotesque impropriety’ from Trump © Provided by The Hill Comey friend: Comey experienced ‘grotesque impropriety’ from Trump

Benjamin Wittes, who runs the Lawfare blog and is known to be a friend of James Comey, said in a new interview that President Trump's private dinner with the former FBI director amounted to "grotesque impropriety."

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, editor-in-chief Ben Smith asked Wittes why he decided to begin sharing details of his private conversations with Comey with the media.

Wittes recalled the New York Times article about the dinner where Trump reportedly asked Comey for loyalty.

"And I shouldn't have been shocked by it, because of everything that I had already known," Wittes told BuzzFeed.

"But I hadn't processed that information through the right narrative lens. I had known that Jim had been asked for loyalty and said he could only give honesty. But without the framing of this dramatic dinner, and the sort of grotesque impropriety of that taking place in that scene, it hadn't all clicked."

Wittes, who penned an op-ed in the Times after Trump fired Comey in May, told BuzzFeed that reading the newspaper's reporting on the dinner put helped him understand conversations he had with Comey.

"The moment I read that story I said, 'My God, I understand a whole lot of things that he had said to me in a way that I hadn't understood them before,'" Wittes said in the interview.

"I can't remember what day of the week it was, it may have been a Friday or Saturday. And the next day, I called [reporter] Mike Schmidt, and I told him I had additional information for him. That's the answer to your question."

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