Comey: Why, no, I didn't tell Trump the dossier material came from research funded by Hillary Clinton

Wasn’t worth mentioning to the incoming president that the FBI was investigating him based on oppo research paid for by his political enemies, huh?

If I were Trump, I think I might have found that relevant. If a Democratic president were the subject of a federal investigation kickstarted by the RNC, I think the left would have wanted him/her to know about its provenance as soon as possible too.

Ed’s already flagged most of the highlights, or lowlights, from Comey’s new book this morning but I want to make sure this doesn’t get overlooked. This isn’t beneath Trump but it should be beneath Comey if he wants to sell himself as interested not in grudges but in truth:

The 6-foot-8 Comey describes Trump as shorter than he expected with a “too long” tie and “bright white half-moons” under his eyes that he suggests came from tanning goggles. He also says he made a conscious effort to check the president’s hand size, saying it was “smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”

Trump and Rubio taking juvenile “hand size” digs at each other may have been the lowest moment of the presidential primaries in 2016. And the ensuing demise of Rubio’s campaign should have taught Comey a lesson: You never win by mud-wrestling with Trump. All you do is get dirty and he enjoys it, to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw. And it plays into something Trump does often and effectively to parry criticism from his antagonists, which is to insist that there’s no such thing as a principled opponent. Everyone who’s against him is corrupt, either for mercenary reasons or because they’re running a vendetta. Mueller is doing the bidding of Democrats who want to delegitimize his presidency; Rosenstein is a Comey crony who’s avenging his fired friend; Jeff Flake is just mad and spiteful because voters in Arizona don’t like him anymore.

I don’t think Trump takes that view for a big-picture strategic reason, although it feeds perfectly into the populist credo that the entire political class is corrupt and self-serving. I think he takes it because that’s how he approaches the world. He’s always working an angle so everyone else must be too. So here’s Comey basically reinforcing that point by stooping to petty nonsense about Trump’s orangey hue and his small(er) hands. Everyone on the right with a platform will spend the next month insisting that he holds a grudge against Trump for firing him and therefore can’t be trusted to tell the truth about important matters like what Trump said to him about Mike Flynn. The gratuitous jabs at Trump’s appearance lend some credence to that, as does Comey’s wink-winking about the so-called “pee tape.” If he has no evidence that the tape exists, why not say that? “I found nothing to substantiate the claim and have no reason to believe it’s true,” not “I don’t know but it’s possible.” If Stephanopoulos asked him if Trump was making ritual sacrifices to Satan, would he say “I don’t know but it’s possible” to that too?

Whatever, though. He wants to sell books. If he were interested in nothing but truth, which is how he’ll spend the next month selling himself, he would have told his story months ago to the press instead of waiting to cash in on it. The petty jabs at Trump are just fan service for the overwhelmingly liberal audience that’s about to make him rich.