Former FBI Director James Comey has mastered the art of the actually-not-subtle-at-all subtweet. On Sunday, after Donald Trump penned a series of characteristically unhinged tweets about the FBI’s apparently “tattered” reputation, Comey quoted himself in a tweet that was clearly directed the president.
“I want to the American people to know the truth: The FBI is honest. The FBI is strong. And the FBI is, and always will be, independent.” Me (June 8, 2017),” Comey tweeted along with an extremely lo-fi collage of images showing FBI field agents at work. (He also posted the collage on Instagram.)
This is not your average subtweet. This collage took time: Comey tracked down ten images of random FBI agents, selected a frame layout, then carefully arranged his ode to the bureau. Maybe he had some help, but this certainly wasn’t impulsive.
Comey has been not-so-subtly subtweeting Trump since he publicly acknowledged his Twitter account was, in fact, his Twitter account. But the ousted former director really kicked his social media commentary into high gear on Friday—when former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition.
“But justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,” Amos 5:24,” Comey tweeted on Friday in another apparent jab at the Trump administration.
Comey testified in June that Trump personally asked him to squash the FBI’s investigation into Flynn’s contacts with the Russian Ambassador. Comey ostensibly refused to heed Trump’s demands as he was fired from the FBI in May, just a few months after Trump took office.
Meanwhile Trump seemed to admit to obstruction of justice in an ill-advised tweet that the White House is now claiming John Dowd, Trump’s lawyer, wrote. Despite previously claiming he fired Flynn for lying to Vice President Mike Pence, Trump said on Saturday that he was fired because he lied to the FBI. If Trump knew Flynn lied when he fired Comey, that seems like a pretty clear case of obstruction of justice.