Sammy Bull, Cited by Former FBI Director James Comey, Replied

It's been another head-spinning week in Washington, news-wise, whatever your political viewpoints. I personally haven't seen so much mention of the New York Mafia since the 1990s....

John Gotti and Salvatore Gravano, aka Sammy the Bull
The heyday: John Gotti and Sammy Bull.

In case you haven't been paying attention (or were in jail), former FBI director James Comey has been hawking his recently published political tell-all, A Higher Loyalty, and during all the interviews, he continues to mention the New York Mafia, specifically, John Gotti and Sammy the Bull.

Comey basically has been saying that President Trump reminds him of a Mafia boss.

For months, Trump aggressively sought Comey's loyalty in a stream of meetings and phone calls, Comey writes. The effort included a now notorious White House dinner with Trump and Comey a week after the inauguration during which Trump, Comey writes, told him: "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.”

To Comey, the President's "demand was like Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony."

Comey made his bones working in New York's Southern District. In 2002, after Comey was the U.S. Attorney, he led the prosecution of 14 members of the Gambino crime family on charges of extortion, robbery, and murder.

He cautioned the public that the era of criminal syndicates and shadowy dons was far from over: "Folks who think that organized crime is a thing of the past in New York are kidding themselves,” Comey said at the time. “These people are out there, and they are struggling to revive and to maintain these organized crime families.”

Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano is the former consiglieri who helped John Gotti become boss of the Gambino crime family, then years later flipped and testified against Gotti and the Mafia. Later, he was busted for dealing drugs, specifically Ecstasy in Arizona (I actually know and have written about a rival drug dealer, "English Shaun). Gravano was released last year after serving a long prison sentence.

“I sat there thinking, Holy crap, they are trying to make each of us ‘amica nostra’... "

At the White House dinner, Comey writes that his response to Trump was: "You will always get honesty from me."

“That’s what I want, honest loyalty,” Trump said.

“You will get that from me,” Comey responded.

Comey depicts Trump as someone who is “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values," and who is "ego driven and about personal loyalty.”

Comey's campaign kicked off with an interview with ABC News’ Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “20/20” that aired on Sunday, April 15.

Comey had a similar feeling about mob loyalty during his first meeting with Trump, which was before the inauguration. 

Comey and other top intelligence officials were at Trump Tower to brief Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and top aides on Russian efforts to influence the election.

Rather than ask about how to meet the threat from Russia, Comey writes, Trump, Pence, and incoming White House aides Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer quickly focused on “how they could spin what we’d just told them,” debating “how to position these findings for maximum political advantage.”

“I sat there thinking, Holy crap, they are trying to make each of us ‘amica nostra’ – friend of ours. To draw us in,” Comey writes. “As crazy as it sounds, I suddenly had the feeling that, in the blink of an eye, the president-elect was trying to make us all part of the same family and that Team Trump had made it a ‘thing of ours.’”

Weeks later, after the private White House dinner, Comey had another private Oval Office meeting with Trump during which Trump seemed to ask him to drop an FBI probe into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

“He is a good guy,” Trump told Comey, according to the book. “I hope you can let this go.”

“I did not interrupt the president to protest that what he was asking was inappropriate, as I probably should have,” Comey writes. “But if he didn’t know what he was doing was inappropriate, why had he just ejected everyone, including my boss [Attorney General Jeff Sessions] and the vice president, from the room so he could speak with me alone?”

Comey said that he was called on the night he was fired by John Kelly, Trump's current chief of staff. In Comey’s telling, Kelly told him that he “intended to quit in protest” because “he didn’t want to work for dishonorable people who would treat someone like me in such a manner.” The phone call from Kelly was confirmed and was reported on last summer.

Former FBI Director James Comey.
Former FBI Director James Comey.

“I urged Kelly not to do that, arguing that the country needed principled people around this president. Especially this president,” Comey writes.

And what does Sammy the Bull himself have to say about Comey citing him, and writing and saying, that President Trump sought the same loyalty from him that mob bosses demand?

Actually,  Gravano said that there's nothing wrong with that.

"The country doesn't need a bookworm as President, it needs a mob boss," Gravano told Jerry Capeci in the most recent Gang Land News.

The 73-year-old Sammy Bull also said his health is "much better" since he got out of prison in September.

"Truthfully speaking now," said Gravano, "if you're gonna deal with the guy who runs North Korea, or the people who run Iran, or the Russian president, do you want a fucking bookworm to deal with them? Or do you want a gangster? You don't need a Harvard graduate to deal with these people. These guys are real gangsters. You need a fucking gangster to deal with these people."

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