Comey likens Trump to 'mob boss' in book tour interview with Stephanopoulos

Ex-FBI Director James Comey compared President Trump to a "mob boss" in a yet-to-be aired interview with George Stephanopoulos, likely signalling that bashing the man who fired him to a fawning press is Comey's strategy for selling his new book.

Not too long ago, Comey was loathed by people on both sides of the political aisle. Republicans blamed him for flubbing the probe into Hillary Clinton's illegal email server, and Democrats faulted him for reopening it just days before the 2016 presidential election.

However, the fired FBI chief has since found himself back in the good graces of liberals -- due largely to his combative relationship with Trump.

Comey's first stop on the tour promoting his upcoming book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership," was at the reliably liberal ABC News, where he spent five hours with former Clinton aide Stephanopoulos, according to Politico.

Axios published an excerpt from the sitdown with Stephanopoulos in which Comey compared Trump to a mob boss. The source told Axios that Comey’s comments stunned people in the room because he answered every question and “goes there.”

“The question will be how to fit it all into a one-hour show,” Axios wrote.

Comey’s book is already marked as a best seller on Amazon. The description of “Higher Loyalty” makes sure to appeal to both sides of the aisle, noting that he “has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history” including “Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Stephanopoulos became a source of unease for ABC during the presidential campaign when it was revealed he gave money to the Clinton Foundation and had to recuse himself from hosting any presidential debates. President Trump has denounced Stephanopoulos for liberal bias, deriding him as “little George.” It will be interesting to see if ABC News discloses Stephanopoulos’ ties to Clinton during the Comey special interview.

“If there's anything besides Trump-bashing in the interview, I could see the possibility of Stephanopoulos hitting Comey from the left on his October 2016 letter to Congress [which reopened the probe],” Newsbusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News when the interview was announced last month.

An ABC News spokesperson provided the following statement: “The interview will speak for itself - we expect it [to be] revealing, tough and fair.” 

CNN recently announced that it will allow Comey to spend an hour promoting the book in what is being billed as a “town hall” event moderated by Anderson Cooper. Comey will then sit down with Fox News anchor Bret Baier following appearances on ABC, CNN and MSNBC.

Political watchdogs will surely take note to whether or not Comey drops the anti-Trump shtick when speaking to a non-partisan anchor.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.