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Comey on His Former Boss Rudy Giuliani: ‘I Guess the Love is Gone’


James Comey‘s relationship with Rudy Giuliani has changed quite a bit over the years. In a live talk with the Washington Post on Tuesday, the former FBI director was unsparing when describing just how much the two former colleagues have recently diverged.

Interviewer Carol Leonnig started off, noting, “In your book you also talk a little bit about what I find really interesting, the beginning of your career as a prosecutor. And you write as a young person in 1987 working for someone no other than Rudy Giuliani.” Leonnig then read a brief passage from Comey’s memoir wherein Comey lavishes praise on his one-time boss while at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Comey writes, and Leonnig recites:

I loved it that my boss was on magazine covers standing on the courthouse steps with his hands on hips as if he ruled the world. It fired me up. Prosecutors almost never saw the great man in person, so I was especially pumped when he stopped by my office early in my career.

Leonnig then noted that Giuliani recently referred to Comey “as a baby and other things.” Asked to comment on the wide gulf in each man’s estimation of the other, Comey beamed, to polite laughter from the audience, “I have a different sense of it than in 1987.” Pressed by Leonnig to elaborate, Comey said:

Well, first the reason I tell that story is because it’s true. I was fired up and thought it was exciting to work for Rudy–and it was. It wasn’t until I tried to become a leader myself that I saw some of the underside of that confidence. Which was, it wasn’t leavened with a whole lot of humility–which is really important to being a leader, to have that balance…so my view of him as a leader changed over time. And the name-calling and whatnot? I don’t know what’s going on with that honestly. I guess the love is gone. I used to be one of his star prosecutors; it appears I’m not anymore.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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