The White House launched coordinated attacks on former FBI Director James Comey, but no one's buying the sad spin.
At the beginning of the week, aides were hoping that Trump would essentially ignore the release of former FBI Director James Comey's damaging memoir, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership."
With an itinerary in place for Trump to be in South America attending a diplomatic summit right now, the plan was for Trump to stay above the fray.
But of course, that hasn't worked out.
Trump abruptly canceled his South America trip on Tuesday. And on Friday morning he was belligerently rage-tweeting about Comey, lashing out at him as a "slime ball," adding, "It was my great honor to fire James Comey!"
As part of the frantic, coordinated blitz, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted out a Comey attack, while adviser Kellyanne Conway spent nearly 10 minutes on Fox News running down Comey as a "disgruntled" attention seeker.
"Remember! People who write books are not under oath," she stressed. "Don't forget it while you read these excerpts, folks. Didn't quit — was fired!"
The meltdown unfolds as Comey's book delivers a stunning portrait of Trump's corrupt and criminal White House. Comey compares Trump to a mob boss. The book, which will be published next Tuesday, has already topped Amazon’s bestseller list, even before its release.
Trump's rage tweets will only likely improve sales for Comey.
In preparation for the book release, the Republican National Committee — with the White House's blessing — assembled a campaign to attack Comey as a liar and a fraud.
The plan, CNN reported, "calls for branding the nation’s former top law enforcement official as 'Lyin' Comey' through a website, digital advertising and talking points to be sent to Republicans across the country.”
But today, most Americans find Comey to be more trustworthy than Trump.
It was Trump's reckless move to fire Comey last May that quickly set into motion the naming of Robert Mueller as special counsel.
Testifying before Congress last year, Comey relayed how Trump had demanded his loyalty, asked him to drop an investigation into his then-national security adviser, and repeatedly pressured Comey to announce that Trump wasn’t under investigation.
In his book, Comey notes that when he and Trump discussed Russia's interference in the 2016 election, Trump only seemed concerned with how that might affect him and his team politically, not whether Russia was guilty of the crime, or if they were trying to interfere with future U.S. elections.
Comey's media blitz will continue well into next week, with extensive television interviews, which means Trump will have plenty of time to keep lashing out.