Former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to release his new tell-all book next week -- and aides to President Donald Trump reportedly have no plan to deal with it other than to keep Trump out of the country and hope for the best.
Politico reports that White House staff are hoping that the president's scheduled trip to South America next week and a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will offer ample "distraction" that will keep his mind away from what could be wall-to-wall coverage of Comey's book.
Daily Beast reporter Asawin Suebsaeng similarly says that "aides have told me for weeks that any real WH strategy on this would be shaped in real-time, molding around however publicly mad Trump got at it."
Aides have told me for weeks that any real WH strategy on this would be shaped in real-time, molding around however… https://t.co/V3nEHcj45n— Asawin Suebsaeng (@Asawin Suebsaeng)1523284422.0
Former George W. Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer tells Politico that the White House will be powerless to stop Comey's book from posting record sales numbers, similar to the way Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury" topped bestseller charts earlier this year.
However, a former White House official tells Politico that Comey's book is likely going to be even more harmful to the White House than Wolff's, which effectively ended the career of former White House political strategist and Breitbart editor-in-chief Steve Bannon.
"It’s going to be something more damaging," said the former Trump White House official. "Jim Comey is someone who is extremely dramatic, and he’s an extremely good storyteller. He’s someone who can drive a narrative and keep the camera’s interest."