A former official at the CIA and FBI has alerted President Donald Trump that he has no idea what he’s up against trying to “intimidate” booted FBI Director James Comey and the agency itself.
“You’re threatening the FBI, who’s in the midst of an investigation of presidential aides?” Philip Mudd, a former counterterrorism official at the FBI and CIA, said Friday on CNN. “The FBI’s been around since 1908. The president of the United States has been around for three-and-a-half months.”
“If you think you’re going to intimidate the former FBI director and the dozens of people in the workforce who are conducting this investigation with the Department of Justice, you’ve got another think coming.”
Mudd, now a counterterrorism analyst for CNN, scoffed: “You can’t take this seriously. You feel like you’ve got to give the president of the United States a pacifier and a rattle and put him in the crib.”
He added: “Anyone outside the Beltway, any everyday American who looks at this and takes in a breath and says, ‘I’m worried,’ I say, ‘Don’t worry about it. This is a joke.’ Nobody in the investigation would take this seriously.”
Mudd was addressing in particular the president’s warning tweet Friday that Comey should “hope” Trump doesn’t have a tape of their January dinner meeting. Trump has said Comey assured him that he was not being investigated as part of the probe into links between the Kremlin and Trump campaign associates. Sources linked to Comey, however, said that what actually occurred at the dinner was that Trump asked Comey to take a “loyalty” pledge to the president, which Comey refused to do.
Mudd has often lashed out at Trump. On Wednesday he called the president a “coward” for firing Comey the way he did. “If you’re gonna fire somebody with this experience: pick up the damn phone,” he said. Comey learned he was fired from a TV newscast while he was in Los Angeles.