Former FBI Director Jim Comey. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fired FBI director James Comey comes across in "A Higher Loyalty," out Tuesday, as aghast that, in his view, so many people who should know better allowed President Trump to attack basic norms of behavior and ethics.

The intrigue: In one of the juicier scenes, Comey takes readers inside his "loyalty dinner" with Trump, in the White House residence on Jan. 27, 2017, a week after the inauguration:

  • "He said lots of people wanted to be director of the FBI, but that he thought very highly of me. He said he had heard great things about me and knew the people of the FBI thought very highly of me as well."
  • "He said despite that, he would understand if I wanted to 'walk away' given all I had been through, although then he noted that that would be bad for me personally because it would look like I had done something wrong."
  • "He finished by saying that he knew he could 'make a change at FBI' if he wanted to, but that he wanted to know what I thought."
  • "Now it was pretty clear to me what was happening. The setup of the dinner, both the physical layout of a private meal and Trump’s pretense that he had not already asked me to stay on multiple occasions, convinced me this was an effort to establish a patronage relationship."
  • "Somebody probably had told him, or maybe it just occurred to him at random, that he’d 'given' me the job for 'free' and that he needed to get something in return."
  • "This only added to the strangeness of the experience. The president of the United States had invited me to dinner and decided my job security was on the menu."

Comey writes that Trump's loyalty demand at the dinner was like "Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony." (ABC)

The big picture: We're told Comey "feels a sense of mission" ahead of a coast-to-coast tour, launching Sunday at 10 p.m. with an interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.

  • As leaks from the book began pouring out yesterday, Comey was said to be "bemused" by Twitter attacks from Trump — and preemptive pushback from the RNC, which set up a "Lyin' Comey" site.

Go deeper ... The N.Y. Times book review, "James Comey Has a Story to Tell. It’s Very Persuasive," is written by one of the tougher critics out there — Michiko Kakutani, former chief book critic for The Times, and author of "The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump,” out July 17.

  • How it's playing: N.Y. Times A1, "Visceral Details, and Grim View Of President, in Comey Memoir" ... WashPost A1, "Comey’s memoir: Trump fixates on proving lewd dossier allegations false."

Go deeper: Comey felt Trump was sitting "on a throne"

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

Go deeper

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 30,911,999 — Total deaths: 959,059— Total recoveries: 21,147,903Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30p.m. ET: 6,796,384 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.