Which words come to mind when you think of James Comey? While some not-so-flattering descriptions of the disgraced ex-FBI director probably spring to mind, it’s a safe bet that “Communist” wasn’t one of them.
After all, the man who ran the Bureau when President Trump took office was widely seen as a loyal public servant, at least up until the last two years.
He fit the “G-man” image: An American patriot working his way through the ranks of law enforcement, a Republican who was named deputy attorney general by George W. Bush.
By now, we know that Comey may not have been such a Boy Scout. His role in the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for negligence, combined with his fingerprints all over the disproved “Trump collusion” narrative, have severely tarnished his reputation.
But what if Comey’s problems go even deeper? Is it possible that the disgraced director didn’t just clash with Trump over partisan politics? What if it’s because Comey had a fundamentally different and even anti-American worldview?
That’s what famed conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh is asking, and he’s drawing attention to a forgotten 2003 interview to raise some serious red flags — no pun intended.
“[H]ow many of you have heard or thought that James Comey was a lifelong Republican? I have,” Limbaugh said on his Friday program.
“I’ve always thought that James Comey was of a lifelong Republican. I’ve been told that James Comey is a lifelong Republican.”
“It turns out not to be true,” the radio host revealed. “Are you aware that James Comey used to be a Communist?”
Sure enough, during a 2003 interview with New York Magazine, the man who would go on to helm the FBI a decade later stated on the record that he was a Communist during his formative years.
“I’d moved from Communist to whatever I am now,” Comey said of his early political views. “I’m not even sure how to characterize myself politically.”
In the same interview, the former Bureau director stated that he voted for Ronald Reagan in 1984 and Jimmy Carter in 1980. That’s hardly anything to write home about, but in the same breath Comey said that he had sympathized with Communist views before that time.
Although Comey didn’t elaborate, this would match up with his college years, which began in the late ’70s. That was of course a time when far-left politics bloomed on university campuses, around the same years that Barack Obama was smoking marijuana and chumming it up with socialists.
Of course, so were a lot of people. But as both Limbaugh and Zero Hedge noted, James Comey wasn’t the only Obama-era chief to admit past Communist sympathies. He shares that “distinction” with none other than fellow anti-Trump figure John Brennan.
“The heads of Obama’s FBI and CIA both voted for Communists during the Cold War, yet were somehow able to move up the ranks within the same US intelligence community that had spent decades fighting that very ideology,” Zero Hedge reported on Thursday.
“Former CIA Director John Brennan […] admitted in 2016 to voting Communist in the 1970s,” that outlet pointed out. Sure enough, CNN broke that story two months before the presidential election.
“I voted for the Communist Party candidate,” Brennan admitted during a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation conference. He revealed that during his 1980 polygraph test for admission to the CIA, he momentarily thought about covering up this fact before ultimately telling the truth to the examiner.
That Communist candidate was Gus Hall, a radical leftist who supported the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and ran for president four times.
Since Brennan admitted his Communist sympathies during his 1980 polygraph but was too young to vote in 1972, it’s nearly certain that he voted for the avowed Communist candidate in 1976, just four years before joining the CIA.
Based on his admission, it’s very possible that Comey voted for the very same Soviet-backed Communist candidate.
Does it matter? It’s hard to say. On the one hand, people can certainly change, and it isn’t uncommon for young people to hold radical views during experimental college years, only to see the light later on.
But on the other hand, there wasn’t really that much time between when both Comey and Brennan admittedly saw themselves as Communists and when they entered public service.
Communism isn’t something you casually walk away from. It’s an all-encompassing worldview; if you leave it behind, everything in your worldview has to shift. Remember, this was near the height of the Cold War, when siding with communists meant seeing eye-to-eye with the USSR while American soldiers were fighting and dying at the hands of Soviet-backed North Vietnam.
And it’s also worth noting that Comey didn’t seem all that eager to distance himself from Communism during his 2003 interview or clarify that he had long outgrown those radical views. Instead, he weakly described his politics as “whatever I am now,” and said he wasn’t “sure how to characterize myself politically.”
At the end of the day, we don’t know what is in the hearts and minds of Comey and Brennan. We may never truly know where their sympathies lie, but the president’s instincts about distrusting both men may have been right all along.