“I have long worried about my ego,” former FBI Director James Comey conceded in his recently released memoir.
In the controversial book, titled A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, Comey writes:
The stuff that gets me the most is the claim that I am in love with my own righteousness, my own virtue. I have long worried about my ego. I am proud of the fact that I try to do the right thing. I am proud of the fact that I try to be truthful and transparent. I do think my way is better than that of the lying partisans who crowd our public life today. But there is danger that all that pride can make me blind and closed off to other views of what the right thing is. I have replayed the Clinton email case hundreds of times in my mind. Other than mistakes in the way I presented myself in the July 5 public statement in front of the television cameras, I am convinced that if I could do it all again, I would do the same thing, given my role and what I knew at the time.
Comey was addressing his infamous news conference on July 5, 2016 at which he criticized Hillary Clinton’s private email server as “extremely careless” before finally stating that “no charges are appropriate in this case.” In doing so, Comey violated FBI tradition and bypassed the Justice Department to unilaterally make public pronouncements about the case.
In the previous paragraph, Comey wrote that “I don’t like being criticized.”
But I have to pay attention to the criticism because all human beings can be wrong sometimes. Still, to avoid being paralyzed and crushed by second-guessing, I use a rule of thumb: if the criticism is coming from a person I know to be thoughtful, I pay close attention to it.
The book is not the only occasion on which Comey publicly discussed issues related to his ego. Comey addressed his self-described egocentric tendencies in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos earlier this month.
Comey said that he has “struggled” his whole life with his “ego and – and a sense that I – I have to be careful not to fall in love with my own view of things.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
With additional research by Joshua Klein.