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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.”

Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily morning newsletter, Axios AM. 

Go deeper

57 mins ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

2 hours ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.