Pro-Trump group labels Comey political ‘showboat’ in new ad

June 6, 2017 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A nonprofit issues group is labeling James Comey a political “showboat” in a television ad set to air Thursday, the day the former FBI director testifies on Capitol Hill.

Comey “put politics over protecting America,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot, titled “Showboat,” which was shared with The Associated Press. It accuses him of being “consumed with election meddling” even as “terror attacks were on the rise.”

Great America Alliance has paid for the ad, which is slated to run digitally Wednesday and appear the next day on CNN and Fox News. The group, formed after President Donald Trump’s election to advocate for his administration, is not required to disclose its donors.

The message of the ad reflects a strategy by Trump and his advocates to erode Comey’s credibility.

Comey will testify Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee and is expected to be grilled about his interactions with Trump ahead of his own firing. He will also be questioned about the agency’s underlying investigation into whether Trump’s campaign had anything to do with Russian meddling in the election the New York billionaire into office.

The ad highlights that Comey’s previous congressional testimony about Hillary Clinton’s emails was inaccurate and needed to be corrected. After Comey said Clinton’s campaign aide “forwarded hundreds and thousands” of emails to her husband, a potential security breach, the FBI sent a letter to Congress saying he’d misspoken.

“James Comey: just another DC insider only in it for himself,” the ad concludes.

Eric Beach, head of Great America Alliance, said no one from the White House asked his group to do the ad. Some of the commentary in it — including the title — echoes public statements by Trump and other administration officials.

Two days after firing Comey last month, Trump called him a “showboat” in an interview with NBC News.