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Photo: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Getty Images

As James Comey's "A Higher Loyalty" goes on sale today, NPR's Steve Inskeep and Carrie Johnson asked him on "Morning Edition" about President Trump's tweets over the weekend suggesting he could face jail for giving up classified information and lying to Congress.

His big picture: “The president of the United States just tweeted that a private citizen should be jailed. And I think the reaction of most of us was: ‘Meh, it’s another one of those things. ... This is not normal. This is not OK. There is a danger that we will become numb to it and we will stop noticing the threats to our norms.”

He was also asked about his criticisms of Trump’s appearance, including his penchant for long neckties:

  • “I’m not making fun of the president. I’m trying to be an author, which I’ve never been before in my life. While I’m typing, I can hear my editor’s voice ringing in my head: 'Bring the reader with you,  show them inside your head.’"
  • "And by the way, not that this matters,  but I found his hands to be above average in size."

Terry Gross of "Fresh Air" asked Comey, who as deputy attorney general appointed special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald in the Scooter Libby case, if he sees Trump's pardon of Libby as a personal attack:

  • “I don’t ... but that doesn’t mean it’s not an attack on the rule of law. There’s a reason that President George W. Bush, for whom Scooter Libby worked, refused to pardon him."
  • "The Libby case was incredibly important, and justified by overwhelming facts. To pardon now, is an attack on the rule of law.”

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Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.