Rachel Maddow Got a Copy of James Comey’s Book — Here Are 3 Takeaways

Former FBI director James Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” doesn’t hit bookstores until next week, but its contents are becoming known after copies were leaked Thursday.

Among those who got their hands on the tell-all is Rachel Maddow, who read several excerpts live on her MSNBC show Thursday night.

In addition to elaborating on the widely-reported detail that Trump was obsessed about the salacious dossier complied by former MI6 operative Christopher Steele, Comey also takes great pains to imply Trump is shady.

Also Read: ABC Asks James Comey Why He Compares Trump to ‘a Mob Boss’ (Video)

Here are three take-aways from the book, as excerpted on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

1) Trump was more worried about the optics of Russian interference in the 2016 election than the geopolitical implications.

As Comey tells it, soon after the election he and several other people met with Trump’s transition team for a briefing with then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about Russian meddling in the election.

However, in Comey’s account Trump asked only one question, “which was more of a statement: ‘But you found there was no impact on the result, right?’”

Clapper, Comey said, explained to Trump that intelligence analysts had not investigated whether or not the meddling impacted the election result, and could only say that “we found no evidence of alteration of the vote count.”

Also Read: Hannity: Mueller Is ‘Fulfilling the Mainstream Media’s Fantasy’ With Cohen Raid

Comey then said he was taken aback by the fact that “they were about to lead a country that had been attacked by a foreign adversary, but they had no questions about what the future Russian threat might be, nor did they ask how the United States might prepare itself to meet that threat.”

According to Comey, Trump and his team “shifted immediately” into “a strategy session about messaging on Russia. About how they could spin what we just told them.”

Comey says Reince Preibus described a hypothetical press statement “as if we weren’t there,” and that Priebus, Mike Pence, Sean Spicer and Trump “debated how to present these findings for maximum political advantage.”

“They were keen to emphasize that… the Russians hadn’t elected Trump,” according to Comey.

2) Comey suggests Trump and his team were trying to make him (and other non political appointees) complicit in their activities.

Comey says in his book that he’d attended many intelligence briefings with Trump’s predecessors, and that George W. Bush and Barack Obama had never discussed “communications and political strategy in front of intelligence community leaders.”

“I tried to tell myself that maybe this was because Trump and his team had little experience on these matters — Trump, of course, had no experience whatsoever.”

Also Read: Feds Probe: Did National Enquirer Parent Company Help Trump Campaign?

Comey then goes on to say that the whole thing began to remind him of “New York Mafia social clubs… in the 1980s and 1990s. Comey then talks about how Mafia members distinguish between “a ‘friend of yours,’ meaning someone outside the family, and… a ‘friend of ours,’ meaning an official member of the family.”

“Holy crap,” Comey says he thought. “they are trying to make each of us an ‘amica nostra’ — friend of ours. To draw us in. The president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family and that Team Trump had made it a ‘thing of ours.’”

3) Yes, Trump is very concerned about That Tape (You know the one we mean).

According to Comey, Trump was very concerned about the claim from the Steele dossier that Russia has blackmail material on him. Specifically, video of him with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room filmed in 2013, that has infamously come to be known as the “pee dossier”.

Also Read: Trump Dossier: Which Media Outlets Used Term ‘Golden Showers’?

According to Comey, after the national security briefing ended, Trump took him aside for a private chat during which Comey attempted to broach the subject of the tape (though, he said, he avoided mentioning the urinary details).

Trump, Comey says, immediately protested that it wasn’t true. “I explained I wasn’t saying the FBI believed the allegations,” Comey writes. His intent was to make sure Trump knew the claims were becoming public “to protect the presidency from any kind of coercion, whether or not the allegations were true.”

Trump again “strongly denied” the claim, and according to Comey asked “rhetorically, I assumed, whether he seemed like a guy who needed the services of prostitutes.”

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Former FBI director James Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership” doesn’t hit bookstores until next week, but its contents are becoming known after copies were leaked Thursday.

Among those who got their hands on the tell-all is Rachel Maddow, who read several excerpts live on her MSNBC show Thursday night.

In addition to elaborating on the widely-reported detail that Trump was obsessed about the salacious dossier complied by former MI6 operative Christopher Steele, Comey also takes great pains to imply Trump is shady.

Here are three take-aways from the book, as excerpted on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

1) Trump was more worried about the optics of Russian interference in the 2016 election than the geopolitical implications.

As Comey tells it, soon after the election he and several other people met with Trump’s transition team for a briefing with then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about Russian meddling in the election.

However, in Comey’s account Trump asked only one question, “which was more of a statement: ‘But you found there was no impact on the result, right?'”

Clapper, Comey said, explained to Trump that intelligence analysts had not investigated whether or not the meddling impacted the election result, and could only say that “we found no evidence of alteration of the vote count.”

Comey then said he was taken aback by the fact that “they were about to lead a country that had been attacked by a foreign adversary, but they had no questions about what the future Russian threat might be, nor did they ask how the United States might prepare itself to meet that threat.”

According to Comey, Trump and his team “shifted immediately” into “a strategy session about messaging on Russia. About how they could spin what we just told them.”

Comey says Reince Preibus described a hypothetical press statement “as if we weren’t there,” and that Priebus, Mike Pence, Sean Spicer and Trump “debated how to present these findings for maximum political advantage.”

“They were keen to emphasize that… the Russians hadn’t elected Trump,” according to Comey.

2) Comey suggests Trump and his team were trying to make him (and other non political appointees) complicit in their activities.

Comey says in his book that he’d attended many intelligence briefings with Trump’s predecessors, and that George W. Bush and Barack Obama had never discussed “communications and political strategy in front of intelligence community leaders.”

“I tried to tell myself that maybe this was because Trump and his team had little experience on these matters — Trump, of course, had no experience whatsoever.”

Comey then goes on to say that the whole thing began to remind him of “New York Mafia social clubs… in the 1980s and 1990s. Comey then talks about how Mafia members distinguish between “a ‘friend of yours,’ meaning someone outside the family, and… a ‘friend of ours,’ meaning an official member of the family.”

“Holy crap,” Comey says he thought. “they are trying to make each of us an ‘amica nostra’ — friend of ours. To draw us in. The president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family and that Team Trump had made it a ‘thing of ours.'”

3) Yes, Trump is very concerned about That Tape (You know the one we mean).

According to Comey, Trump was very concerned about the claim from the Steele dossier that Russia has blackmail material on him. Specifically, video of him with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room filmed in 2013, that has infamously come to be known as the “pee dossier”.

According to Comey, after the national security briefing ended, Trump took him aside for a private chat during which Comey attempted to broach the subject of the tape (though, he said, he avoided mentioning the urinary details).

Trump, Comey says, immediately protested that it wasn’t true. “I explained I wasn’t saying the FBI believed the allegations,” Comey writes. His intent was to make sure Trump knew the claims were becoming public “to protect the presidency from any kind of coercion, whether or not the allegations were true.”

Trump again “strongly denied” the claim, and according to Comey asked “rhetorically, I assumed, whether he seemed like a guy who needed the services of prostitutes.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

ABC Asks James Comey Why He Compares Trump to 'a Mob Boss' (Video)

Sean Hannity Erupts in Twitter Tirade, Grills James Comey After Cryptic Warning to Trump

James Comey to Make Late Night Debut on 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' in April

Sean Hannity Suggests James Comey 'Should Go to Jail' for Exonerating Hillary Clinton

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Trump’s Lawyer Sues Buzzfeed, Fusion GPS for ‘Defamation’ Over Russia Dossier

Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Donald Trump, has filed defamation lawsuits in New York state court against Buzzfeed and Fusion GPS over the Steel Dossier, the now infamous “golden showers” memo alleging Russia has blackmail material on the president. The dossier was compiled by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election, and published by Buzzfeed on Jan. 10, 2017.

Cohen announced the suits Tuesday evening, saying on Twitter “Enough is enough of the #fake #RussianDossier. Just filed a defamation action against @BuzzFeedNews for publishing the lie filled document on @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and me!”

Also Read: Steve Bannon Exits Breitbart News, Will ‘Try and Reinvent Himself’

In the lawsuit filed against Fusion, obtained by TheWrap, Cohen asserts that “[t]his action arises from the immensely damaging and defamatory statements made by Defendants against Plaintiff through widely disseminated political opposition reports commissioned by opponents of presidential candidate Donald Trump. Defendants, a D.C.-based political opposition research firm and its principal, Glenn Simpson, published these reports, which came to be known as the “Dossier,” in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

The suit names Bean LLC, d/b/a Fusion GPS, and Glenn Simpson, as defendants.

In the suit against Buzzfeed, posted online by ABC, Cohen decries “false, damaging, and highly inflammatory statements” he says were made about him in the dossier, and accuses Buzzfeed of failing to attempt to “determine the veracity of these reports with Plaintiff himself.”

The suit names Buzzfeed, INC., Ben Smith, Ken Bensigner, Miriam Elder, and Mark Schoofs as defendants.

Also Read: Trump Blasted for National Anthem Performance: ‘Disgraceful for Any President’

Cohen says statements about him contained in the dossier, including that he has family ties to Russia, are untrue and have damaged him professionally.

Soon after the dossier was published, Christopher Steele went into hiding citing concern for his and his family’s safety.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Donald Trump, has filed defamation lawsuits in New York state court against Buzzfeed and Fusion GPS over the Steel Dossier, the now infamous “golden showers” memo alleging Russia has blackmail material on the president. The dossier was compiled by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele for Fusion GPS during the 2016 presidential election, and published by Buzzfeed on Jan. 10, 2017.

Cohen announced the suits Tuesday evening, saying on Twitter “Enough is enough of the #fake #RussianDossier. Just filed a defamation action against @BuzzFeedNews for publishing the lie filled document on @POTUS @realDonaldTrump and me!”

In the lawsuit filed against Fusion, obtained by TheWrap, Cohen asserts that “[t]his action arises from the immensely damaging and defamatory statements made by Defendants against Plaintiff through widely disseminated political opposition reports commissioned by opponents of presidential candidate Donald Trump. Defendants, a D.C.-based political opposition research firm and its principal, Glenn Simpson, published these reports, which came to be known as the “Dossier,” in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

The suit names Bean LLC, d/b/a Fusion GPS, and Glenn Simpson, as defendants.

In the suit against Buzzfeed, posted online by ABC, Cohen decries “false, damaging, and highly inflammatory statements” he says were made about him in the dossier, and accuses Buzzfeed of failing to attempt to “determine the veracity of these reports with Plaintiff himself.”

The suit names Buzzfeed, INC., Ben Smith, Ken Bensigner, Miriam Elder, and Mark Schoofs as defendants.

Cohen says statements about him contained in the dossier, including that he has family ties to Russia, are untrue and have damaged him professionally.

Soon after the dossier was published, Christopher Steele went into hiding citing concern for his and his family’s safety.

Related stories from TheWrap:

ABC News Demotes Brian Ross After Trump-Russia Error

'Black Mirror' Easter Egg: Was This Character Involved in Collusion With Russia to Hack the U.S. Election?

Russia Barred From 2018 Olympic Games Over Doping — an Unprecedented Move by IOC