Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz blasted former FBI Director James B. Comey, saying that Comey will not be remembered favorably if the memo Gaetz and other Republicans have been working to release is made public.
Speaking on Fox News, the freshman Republican pushed back against Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who charged that the memo, which criticizes the FBI’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, was surreptitiously changed after the committee voted to release it and before it was sent to the White House.
“You could about hold the both of them up to a lamp and they would look identical,” he said of the two versions of the memo.
Gaetz has been one of the most vocal House Republicans advocating for the memo’s release. The congressman faced criticism this week for taking white nationalist troll Chuck Johnson to the State of the Union address as his guest.
Comey, who was fired by Trump last year, praised the FBI for warning about the consequences of making public the classified memo.
“American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up,” he tweeted, in a thinly veiled allusion to President Donald Trump and Republicans.
Comey also referenced Joseph McCarthy, the former senator who held multiple hearings trying to weed out what he alleged were communists in the government in the 1950s. “Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy,” he wrote.
All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would. But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.
— James Comey (@Comey) February 1, 2018
Gaetz returned fire, tweaking the former FBI director with his own allusion.
“I would remind Director Comey that I don’t know that too many schools or streets are going to be named after him once this memo is into the public square,” Gaetz said.