As former FBI director James Comey prepares for the release of his new book coupled with a media blitz beginning Sunday, the Republican National Committee has prepared an aggressive response to discredit him.
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Talking points prepared by the RNC and obtained by ABC News will be distributed to surrogates and allies of the president and are aimed at attacking what are called Comey’s “misstatements and misconduct,” contradictions and credibility.
Comey sits down for an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos airing Sunday.
The RNC is also preparing to set up a “war room” to monitor media appearances and respond in real time, according to the RNC plan.
“James Comey’s publicity tour is a self-serving attempt to make money and rehabilitate his own image. Comey is a liar and a leaker, and his misconduct led both Republicans and Democrats to call for his firing,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “If Comey wants the spotlight back on him, we’ll make sure the American people understand why he has no one but himself to blame for his complete lack of credibility.”
The plan includes a newly launched website named “lyincomey.com” – which currently consists of mostly a collection of Democrats saying Comey behaved inappropriately and news coverage of contradictions in his testimony and actions.
It will be updated as Comey’s book and interviews roll out, according to an RNC official.
The RNC has been preparing the plan for the past week and while the White House has no plan to respond specifically, they did sign off on the Republican response effort, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
The details of the response effort were first reported by CNN.
Comey has been a thorn in Trump’s side since his firing last year and has remained vocal on Twitter ever since. The president has often taken to Twitter to attack Comey as a liar and a leaker.
In the wake of Comey’s firing, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team told the Justice Department to turn over any email and other documents related to, among other things, the May 9, 2017 firing of James Comey as FBI director.
The nature of the interactions and any alleged directives shared between the White House and the key Department of Justice officials before the Comey dismissal is a part of special counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Trump has defended himself, saying he simply fired Comey “very simply” because “he wasn’t doing a good job.”