Comey Cops To The One Major ‘Struggle’ That Nearly Kept Him From Writing His Book

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
Font Size:

Former FBI Director James Comey told George Stephanopoulos that his ego — and the constant struggle to keep it in check — nearly prevented him from writing his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.

Comey noted that the struggle was something that began early in his life, saying, “my rap on myself is that – is that ego focus. That I – since I was a kid, I’ve had a sense of confidence. That I know I’m good at certain things. And there’s a danger that that will bleed over into pride, into not being open minded to the fact that I could be wrong and other people could have a better view of it.”

That struggle, along with the notion that writing a book would be what Comey called “an exercise in ego,” nearly prevented him from putting pen to paper. I have to be careful not to fall in love with my own view of things,” he added. “And so that battle with ego and my sense that memoirs are an exercise in ego convinced me I was never going to write a book.”

But Comey also said that, ultimately, his “sense of duty to the U.S.” and to the American people drove him to tell his story in spite of his own initial misgivings.

Not everyone believes that Comey won out in the battle of egos, however. The Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada, in his lengthy review of the book, claims that the struggle is carried out in example after example throughout the pages of the book.

Comey isn’t just the kind of writer who quotes Shakespeare, but the kind who quotes himself quoting Shakespeare. He rejects the notion that “I am in love with my own righteousness” yet notes that “I have long worried about my ego.” (Consider the egotism of being preoccupied by your egotism.)

Lozada also describes a time when Comey admitted t0 “regifting” a tie to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Comey explained, “Because we considered ourselves people of integrity, I disclosed it was a regift as I handed him the tie.”

The idea that Comey struggled with his ego didn’t appear to come as a surprise to some within the Trump administration, either. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that Comey had “never met a TV camera he didn’t want to be in front of.”

And White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News on Monday morning that Comey could be counted on for consistency in one area — it’s “all about Jim Comey.”