Did James Comey subtweet Michael Flynn? Perhaps.

FILE - In this June 8, 2017 file photo, Former FBI Director James Comey reacts during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Comey paid a weekend visit to Iowa, site of the first presidential caucuses. Cue the speculation. One of President Donald Trump’s best-known adversaries dined at a must-stop steakhouse for politicos and posed for a photo along a rural road with a neatly groomed field as a backdrop, as countless White House aspirants have before him. However, it turns out, Comey was visiting his in-laws. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon / AP, File

Not long after the president’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to the FBI, the man who was leading the agency when the lie was told, James B. Comey, had something to tweet.

In what has become an occasional habit, Comey offered what appeared to be a quotation of relevance to the day’s unfolding news, in this case a biblical verse about justice:

The tweet appeared to quote the New American Standard Bible and included a link to the only post on Comey’s Instagram account. That post showed the quotation alongside a photo of a rushing river cutting across a craggy landscape, an image he has shared before on Twitter.

“But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” Amos 5:24

A post shared by James Comey (@a_higher_loyalty) on


Both of the social media accounts make reference to Comey’s much-anticipated book about his time in government, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” which is slated to come out in the spring. Comey was the FBI director from 2013 to May 2017, when he was fired by President Donald Trump.

The early afternoon tweet and Instagram post came after Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to Comey’s FBI about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador last December. In doing so, Flynn brought the special counsel investigation into Russian interference during the election into Trump’s inner circle.

Comey’s post reflects a habit on display in recent months in which he has appeared to use a carefully chosen quotation to allude to someone or something in the news. Of course, all subtweets — the term of Twitter art for critical tweets with unnamed targets — have deniability. Comey could not be immediately reached to deny (or confirm) that he was subtweeting Flynn. He gave no further clue on Twitter.

On Oct. 30, the day the special counsel filed the first charges in its investigation, Comey tweeted a quotation about democracy and justice by Reinhold Niebuhr, the American theologian who was the focus of his college thesis. (Comey had used the theologian’s name as a pseudonym on the Twitter account until recently).


A few weeks later, on Nov. 19, Comey tweeted a quotation about leadership just hours after Trump suggested that he should have left an American college basketball player in Chinese prison, a response to the athlete’s father suggesting that Trump played little role in freeing his son in the first place.

On Nov. 25, Trump took to Twitter to criticize CNN and praise Fox News. Less than one hour later, Comey tweeted about the freedom of the press.

But Comey’s tweets are not exclusively quotations. About two hours after he tweeted the Bible verse, he weighed in on a different subject in the news, sharing a “Saturday Night Live” video clip about sexual harassment.