comey abc news
PHOTO: ABC
comey abc news
Now playing
02:24
Comey breaks silence in first TV interview
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
01:12
Trump: I didn't fire Comey because of Russia
Ousted FBI director James Comey listens during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Ousted FBI director James Comey listens during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
01:20
Memos add new details to Comey's story
Conway Cuomo 04162018
PHOTO: CNN
Conway Cuomo 04162018
Now playing
01:48
Conway: All Comey had to do was keep mouth shut
Now playing
01:22
Toobin: Comey's account devastating for Trump
Rick Santorum
Rick Santorum
Now playing
01:29
Santorum rips Comey's 'tell-nothing' book
PHOTO: Team Coco
Now playing
03:50
Comey on Conan: Trump spy claims are made up
PHOTO: photo illustration: getty images/flatiron books/allie schmitz/cnn
Now playing
01:44
Trump unloads on Twitter at Comey
Now playing
04:46
Cooper questions Trump's respect for the law
Kellyanne Conway newday 04162018
PHOTO: CNN
Kellyanne Conway newday 04162018
Now playing
02:01
Conway: Comey's FBI was a hot mess
comey abc 2
PHOTO: ABC
comey abc 2
Now playing
02:49
Comey: Briefing Trump felt like out-of-body experience
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Former FBI Director James Comey leaves a closed session with the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 08: Former FBI Director James Comey leaves a closed session with the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC. Comey said that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop the FBI's investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and demanded Comey's loyalty during the one-on-one meetings he had with president. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:52
White House: Comey a 'disgraced partisan hack'
PHOTO: ABC
Now playing
02:04
Comey: Trump unfazed by Russian meddling
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:20
Clapper: Comey accounts are accurate
PHOTO: CNN Illustration/Getty Images
Now playing
02:08
Comey details 2017 meeting with Trump in book
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), during an Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump today mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a "hallmark of our democracy." (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Pool/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: U.S. President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), during an Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump today mocked protesters who gathered for large demonstrations across the U.S. and the world on Saturday to signal discontent with his leadership, but later offered a more conciliatory tone, saying he recognized such marches as a "hallmark of our democracy." (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:21
Trump and Comey's ups and downs
Ousted FBI director James Comey listens during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
PHOTO: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Ousted FBI director James Comey listens during a hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill June 8, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
02:25
Timeline of Trump firing James Comey
(CNN) —  

It is nothing less than the most devastating, contemporaneous takedown of a sitting president in modern history.

The James Comey storm, brewing menacingly on the horizon for months, slammed into the White House just after 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, as the first leaks of the fired FBI director’s explosive new book started gushing out.

Proving that revenge is a dish best served cold, Comey waited 11 months to exact his retribution for his dismissal by President Donald Trump last May. When it came it was unsparing, richly detailed and mortifying for the President.

He painted Trump as a relentless liar who is obsessively unethical, devoid of humanity and a slave to his ego, who is clueless about his job and unconcerned about a Russian assault on American democracy.

Jabbing the President in a strikingly personal way, Comey noted the size of Trump’s hands, said his skin looked orange and described white rings around his eyes from tanning goggles.

But Comey isn’t just out to hurt Trump’s feelings. He is on a more profound mission: His book is a parable about the threat from a brazen President who demands a warped concept of loyalty and has only disdain for the rule of law.

“Hell hath no fury like an FBI director scorned,” former Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore said on CNN.

CNN obtained a copy of the book and corroborated news reports about Comey’s highly anticipated recounting of his time in the Trump administration.

In one staggering part of the book, “A Higher Loyalty,” Comey said dealing with Trump reminded him of his days prosecuting Mafia kingpins with their “silent circle of assent.”

“The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.”

“What is happening now is not normal. … It is not fake news. It is not okay,” he writes, sketching a brutal, feudal world that seems incompatible with traditional perceptions of the presidency.

Trump lashed out at Comey in a tweet on Friday morning, living up to his creed of swift retaliation.

“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted,” Trump tweeted. “He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”

In first excerpts of an interview with ABC News that will air this weekend, Comey says that the President asked him to disprove allegations contained in the Steele dossier that he had a salacious encounter with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.

“And then he says something that distracted me because he said, you know, ‘If there’s even a one percent chance my wife thinks that’s true, that’s terrible,’” Comey told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “And I remember thinking, ‘How could your wife think there’s a one percent chance you were with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow?’ I’m a flawed human being, but there is literally zero chance that my wife would think that was true. So, what kind of marriage to what kind of man does your wife think (that) there’s only a 99 percent chance you didn’t do that?”

All presidents are vulnerable to tell-alls by disgruntled former insiders that expose the enmities, gaffes and scandals of their West Wings. Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton all experienced indictments by disillusioned staffers.

Yet no commander in chief in modern memory has had to endure the humiliation heaped on Trump by Comey, who argues that the President saw the FBI as a personal investigative service bound to do his bidding.

Comes amid other bad news for Trump

Besieged by scandals, fast-worsening legal entanglements and wrestling with a life and death decision on whether to launch military action in Syria, Trump is humiliated and under indescribable political pressure that may not be conducive to wise decision-making and seems sure to boil over on Twitter.

In a tsunami of bad news for the President just on Thursday, it was reported that the National Enquirer’s parent company had paid off a doorman at one of his properties to keep quiet about a rumor that the President had sired an illegitimate child.

CNN has confirmed neither the story nor the rumor, but if true it would fit into a pattern of payoffs to people alleging transgressions in Trump’s private life.

In yet another stunner, sources familiar with the matter said recordings that Trump attorney Michael Cohen often made of his telephone conversations likely have been scooped up in the FBI raid Monday on the attorney’s apartment, office and hotel room.

CNN’s Jim Acosta reported Thursday that the President had only just begun to cool off after the raid, which partly resulted from a referral to New York prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller.

But wall-to-wall news coverage of the leaks was likely to send Trump up the wall all over again, since there are few people he disdains more than Comey.

In an NBC interview last May, Trump blasted the former FBI chief as a “showboat” and a “grandstander.” As recently as Monday, the President called Comey a liar and said he had been right to sack him. Trump has made no secret of his view of Comey as the epitome of a “deep state” effort to destroy him.

Like the furor over the book “Fire and Fury” by author Michael Wolf, published in January, this Trump headache will not fade soon.

Thursday’s revelations were just the start of a week of pain for Trump, as Comey is about to embark on a media blitz, starting with an interview with Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “20/20” on Sunday. CNN’s Jake Tapper will sit down with the former FBI director next Thursday.

It’s not clear even that the Republican National Committee’s plan to unleash a counterattack on “Lyin’ Comey,” exclusively revealed by CNN’s Jeff Zeleny on Thursday, will be sufficient to rebut the hard-charging claims in the book.

Still Comey’s willingness to write about salacious details of the Steele dossier, including the notorious claim that Trump watched prostitutes urinate in a Moscow hotel room – accounts that have not been verified – could bolster GOP arguments that he is going tabloid just to sell books.

01:01 - Source: CNN Business
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: MyHeritage
Now playing
01:01
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:46
McEnany says she expected 'peaceful' rally on January 6. Keilar rolls the tape
Now playing
01:26
No, Tom Cruise isn't on TikTok. It's a deepfake
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live
Now playing
02:02
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall reunite in 'Coming 2 America'
PHOTO: Courtesy AirlingRatings.com
Now playing
03:06
Virgin Atlantic CEO: We support Covid vaccine passports
Now playing
01:19
Warren proposes wealth tax: 'It's time for them to pay a fair share'
Now playing
01:43
Marriott CEO: Vaccinations are 'the key' to travel recovery
Now playing
01:23
'There should be no threats': Biden's message to union-busters
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
PHOTO: CNN
Ashley Vanderbilt Former QAnon believer
Now playing
07:40
Former QAnon believer shares bonkers conspiracy theory about Biden
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
Now playing
01:24
'SNL' has 'Dr. Fauci' helping people get vaccinated
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:31
Farrow: Tabloid paid doorman, buried story
PHOTO: MyHeritage
Now playing
01:01
Watch old photos come to life using AI
PHOTO: CNN/Getty Images
Now playing
06:46
McEnany says she expected 'peaceful' rally on January 6. Keilar rolls the tape
Now playing
01:26
No, Tom Cruise isn't on TikTok. It's a deepfake
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live
Now playing
02:02
Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall reunite in 'Coming 2 America'