President Trump surprised some people Sunday when he singled out FBI Director James Comey.
The incident took place during an event the president held in the White House’s Blue Room to honor law enforcement officials who provided security and protection throughout the inaugural ceremonies.
Upon spotting Comey, the president got his attention and motioned for him to come over, remarking, “He’s become more famous than me.”
After the director walked across the room, the president shook Comey’s hand and patted his back while whispering something in his ear.
Pres. Trump greets FBI Director James Comey during First Responders ceremony at the White House: “He’s become more famous than me.” pic.twitter.com/9Rdgyqi1iM
— ABC News (@ABC) January 22, 2017
Trump went on to thank the security officials for their work, adding that the inauguration was “such a success, a safety success.”
Some media outlets reported that Trump appeared to blow a kiss to Comey when calling him over, but The Daily Caller noted, “The audio of Trump greeting Comey clearly shows that Trump is saying ‘James.’”
Comey came under fire from both parties during the presidential campaign over his investigation into Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
In July, Comey announced he would recommend that Clinton not face criminal prosecution even though he found she had been “extremely careless” in the handling of classified material.
“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey said.
Republicans were outraged. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the FBI’s decision showed a “double standard” for powerful people. “If your name isn’t Clinton, or you’re not part of the powerful elite, then Lady Justice will act differently,” he said.
Then, less than two weeks before the election, Comey sent a letter sent to Congress informing lawmakers of the FBI’s decision to review new information in the Clinton e-mail scandal.
Democrats were furious, and many of them — including Clinton herself — blamed the FBI director for her defeat Nov. 8.
The New York Times reported that Clinton held a post-election conference call where, according to one participant, she said, “There are a lot of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” but added, “Our analysis is that Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum.”
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