James Comey's upcoming book gets a boost

War of tweets: Former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey (left) was said to be "lying" by United States President Donald Trump (right).
War of tweets: Former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey (left) was said to be "lying" by United States President Donald Trump (right).PHOTOS: BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

To be released on April 17, the book by the sacked director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation hit No. 1 on Amazon's bestseller list

WASHINGTON • The book is not on sale yet, but it has shot to the top of Amazon's bestseller list.

The author is James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director who was sacked by Mr Donald Trump in May last year and who remains a target of the United States President's vitriol.

One month before its release, Comey's A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies And Leadership hit No. 1 for all books on Amazon's current bestseller list over the weekend, boosted by pre-sales orders.

It slipped back to No. 2 on Monday, but is still the leading non-fiction book.

The sales fillip came after Mr Trump labelled the author "lying James Comey" on Twitter last Saturday, sparking a rebuttal.

"Mr President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honourable and who is not," Comey said on Twitter.

His pointedly titled book is to be released on April 17 and he has scheduled a number of interviews after nearly a year of silence about his firing.

Mr Trump sacked Comey last May in frustration over the FBI's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Comey later released memos he wrote that suggested Mr Trump had pressured him to halt the probe.

Book pre-sales also appeared to get a further boost when the Justice Department sacked FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe last Friday.

Mr McCabe, who was Comey's deputy and defended him after Mr Trump fired him, was accused by the Justice Department of lying in an internal investigation and of an unauthorised leak to the media.

However, Mr Trump quickly turned Mr McCabe's firing into a political event in tweets over the weekend.

"Andrew McCabe fired, a great day for the hardworking men and women of the FBI - a great day for democracy," Mr Trump tweeted.

"Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI.

"Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me," Mr Trump continued.

"I don't believe he made memos except to help his own agenda, probably at a later date. Same with lying James Comey."

Another author who has benefited from Mr Trump's tweets is Michael Wolff, whose book Fire And Fury - an expose of his administration - is still enjoying healthy sales after the President dismissed it as a "fake book, written by a totally discredited author".

Fire And Fury has sold more than one million copies across all formats and remains at the top of The New York Times' hardcover non-fiction bestseller list. It has been on the list for 10 weeks.

There appears to be an enormous appetite for books that give an insight into the Trump White House.

Russian Roulette: The Inside Story Of Putin's War On America And The Election Of Donald Trump - by Michael Isikoff and David Corn - has sold 47,000 copies in its first week.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2018, with the headline 'James Comey's upcoming book gets a boost'. Print Edition | Subscribe