During the meeting, the president, according to two people familiar with Friday’s briefing prep, encouraged his spokeswoman to get tough on fired FBI Director James Comey—as a leaker, a fraud, and just another Trump-bashing self-promoter—when she went on TV later that day.

“The president wanted her to rip him apart,” one West Wing official with knowledge of the meeting told The Daily Beast…

Comey’s allies, for their part, like their odds in the coming fight.

“There is a campaign of defamation going on, [and] it is being orchestrated by the president, it is being carried out by one of the two national political parties in its formal capacity as a party committee,” Benjamin Wittes, a Brookings Institution scholar and friend of Comey’s, told The Daily Beast on Sunday night ahead of the ABC News interview. “I know of nothing like this… but I think this is genuinely different and extraordinary. And the only thing I can say is it is not a flattering use of the presidency… It doesn’t change [what is] alleged in the book. Yelling about Jim all day isn’t going to change that.”