Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., shot back at former FBI Director James Comey after he took a swipe at the “weasels and liars” who are celebrating the expected release of a controversial House Intelligence Committee memo on alleged surveillance abuses by the U.S. government.
"I would remind Director Comey that I don't know that too many schools or streets are going to be named after him once this memo is into the public square," Gaetz, a leading proponent of the #ReleasetheMemo campaign, said on Fox News.
.@RepMattGaetz on James Comey's tweet: "I would remind Director Comey - I don't know that too many schools or streets are going to be named after him once this memo is into the public square." #TheStory https://t.co/7mAeOXA0cx pic.twitter.com/H0SArslL7d— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 2, 2018
“All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would,” Comey said. “But take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy," he added, referring to a former senator who during the 1950s alleged Soviet spies had infiltrated the U.S.
Trump is reportedly poised to allow the release of the memo on Friday, without redactions, even though both the FBI and Democrats have warned against its release over concerns that it will be misleading and potentially damaging to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia inquiry. Comey, who was fired by Trump in May of last year, is reportedly named in the memo, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and outgoing FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Gaetz dismissed Democrats who Wednesday night cried foul when it was revealed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes, R-Calif., oversaw edits to the memo that was sent to the White House after the panel voted to release it.
He echoed the committee's response to accusations by Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., that "material changes" had been made to the memo, arguing that after seeing both versions he concluded that the edits did not alter the substance of the document.
"You could about hold the both of them up to a lamp and they would look identical," he said. "The changes were grammatical in nature. There was a syntax change. But absolutely nothing was added to this memo that would alter its complexion, its content, or that would change the context."