Former FBI director James Comey has been lauded in his hometown of Allendale, New Jersey, whose residents have quite a different take on Comey than the president does.
Among those residents is Comey’s father, J. Brien Comey, who ripped Trump for firing his son and calling Comey a “nut job,” “showboat,” and “grandstander.”
“I never was crazy about Trump,” J. Brien Comey told USA Today’s affiliate in North Jersey. “I’m convinced that he’s nuts. I thought he belonged in an institution. He was crazy before he became president. Now he’s really crazy.”
Other Allendale residents also pushed back on the president’s claims.
“Anyone from Allendale that knows the family and grew up around him knows that he is a good person and has an honest character and has the utmost integrity,” Patty Corn, who runs an online women’s clothing business and was Comey’s classmate at Northern Highlands Regional High School, said.
“That doesn’t leave you,” Corn added.
“There’s nothing phony about him,” said Molly Kissel Patrick, a real estate agent who graduated from Northern Highlands after Comey. “He’s real.”
Further, Comey appears to be well-liked at a bagel shop he frequented in Westport, Connecticut, while working for Bridgewater, the billion dollar hedge fund.
“He came on the weekend all the time,” Abdul Khedira, the manager of Village Bagels told Westport News. Khedira described Comey as “super nice,” and “quite independent.”
Trump abruptly fired Comey last week, while Comey was spearheading an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Though the White House initially said that Trump had acted entirely based on the recommendations of deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and attorney general Jeff Sessions, Trump later said that he had already made the decision to fire Comey before getting Rosenstein’s and Sessions’ input.
Later, Trump said that “the Russia thing” had been a factor in his decision to fire Comey. Following Trump’s comments, experts and analysts said the president’s actions could be bigger than Watergate and may have placed him in impeachment territory.
Since Comey’s firing, the White House has been rocked by a growing number of controversies, including reports that Trump revealed highly-classified information to Russian officials, that Trump asked Comey to drop the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and that Trump told Russian officials firing Comey had taken “great pressure” off of him.
Following the slew of revelations, Rosenstein appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller to helm the FBI’s Russia probe. Comey also agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open, public hearing. A date for the hearing has not yet been announced.
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