BOOK REVIEW: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey

I first heard about a person named James Comey when President Trump fired him from his job as FBI Director for his failure to agree to be “loyal” to Trump. Famously, he agreed to be “loyally honest” in some sort of weird compromise. From Austria, I watched Comey’s hearing testimony before Congress with great interest. Many blamed him for Hilary Clinton’s defeat.

When I learned that he had written a book, I was intrigued to see his perspective on the controversial Presidency and Hilary email scandal. Although most of the book was about Comey’s career before Trump became president, Comey did have this to say about Trump:

“Donald Trump’s Presidency threatens much of what is good in this nation. We all bear responsibility for the deeply flawed choices put before voters during the 2016 election and our country is paying a high price. This President is unethical and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven, and about personal loyalty. We are fortunate some ethical leaders have chosen to serve and to stay at senior levels of government, but they cannot prevent all the damage from the forest fire that is the Trump presidency. Their task is to try to contain it.”

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

Comey also remarks that Trump reminded Comey of the mob bosses that he put away during his job as a New York prosecutor. Trump, who is very much the Kylo Ren to Comey’s Rey, is a man who rambles on incoherently, and often lies with impunity. Trump bothers Comey so much that Comey goes so far as to check the internet to see whether Trump has ever laughed in public–the answer is not really, which prompts the diagnosis that Trump suffers from severe insecurity.

Trump, for a man of high integrity like Comey, is the fly in the soup, a cockroach in the bowl of cherries. Comey, who values the truth and honesty above all else, bristles in the company of a man who wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped him in his over-tanned joules.

A quote from the book which I felt defines how Comey views himself is as follows: “I don’t care about politics. I don’t about expediency. I don’t care about friendship. I care about doing the right thing and I would never be part of something that I believed to be fundamentally wrong. I mean obviously we all make policy judgments where people disagree but I will do the right thing.”

I found this book to be very interesting because it is a story about a man who has had very interesting jobs and worked with and for very contemporary public figures (e.g. Juliani, Clinton, Obama, and Trump). Even though I was expecting a story centered more on Trump’s election and Hilary’s emails (which he also discusses shortly), I was pleasantly surprised that Trump only played a minimal role in the book.

If high profile jobs within the American government is interesting to you, then this book full of on-the-job stories will be an entertaining read.

Check out this book on Goodreads: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership


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