Comey furious over Trump team's smear campaign -- and he's prepared to respond: report
James Comey (screenshot)

James Comey will respond at some point to President Donald Trump, according to sources familiar with the former FBI director -- but he's staying quiet for now.

Associates said Comey is furious about the lack of respect he was shown during his abrupt firing Tuesday and has been angered by comments by Trump and White House staffers, reported ABC News.

The ABC News report referred to comments by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, who accused Comey of committing "atrocities" against Hillary Clinton.

One person close to the former FBI director told the network that Comey had shown considerable restraint when Trump questioned his competence and called him a "showboat."

If and when Comey responds, he could prove to be more dangerous to Trump outside the FBI than he was before.

Matthew Miller, a former spokesman for the Department of Justice, said Comey fastidiously keeps evidence of potential wrongdoing to protect himself and the agency.

The potential threat posed by Comey apparently prompted Trump to reveal a tape recording system at the White House that could potentially be subpoenaed by congressional investigators in their ongoing Russia probe.

Comey was caught off guard by the firing, which he learned about from televisions turned on behind him during a public appearance, and has issued only one public statement since his dismissal.

"I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all," Comey told former colleagues in a letter he delivered. "I'm not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won't either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply."

Many agents believe Comey was treated poorly by the administration, and acting FBI director and the FBI Agents Association contradicted White House claims that their old boss had lost the confidence of "rank and file" employees.