• Comey says Trump's initial attacks left him shocked, but the longer they went on, the less impact they had
  • Though Trump is diminished, he remains dangerous
  • Americans must shake off their fatigue and complacency and ensure the republic survives

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Trump, compared Trump to “a strange and slightly sad old guy … yelling at you to get off his lawn” and called on Americans to fight through the fatigue to save the republic.

In an op-ed published Monday by the Washington Post, Comey recounted how it felt to be attacked by the president – both verbally and on Twitter.

First, he said, the target can’t believe what is happening, and presidential vitriol affects all aspects of life, including the ability to find a job. But with each subsequent attack, the impact lessens.

“The longer it goes on, the less it means,” Comey wrote. “In the third stage, the impact diminishes, the power of it shrinks. It no longer feels as though the most powerful human on the planet is after you. It feels as though a strange and slightly sad old guy is yelling at you to get off his lawn, echoed by younger but no less sad people in red hats shouting, ‘Yeah, get off his lawn!’”

At that point, he said, Trump seemed diminished as does the presidency itself.

And a funny thing has happened on Twitter: Fewer people are sharing his tweets.

Trump, however, remains dangerous, Comey said, citing his decision to abandon the Kurds in northern Syria. He said Trump’s actions will leave lasting damage to the presidency and the nation at-large.

“We need to fight through our fatigue and contempt for this shrunken, withered figure. Spurred by the danger he poses to our nation and its values, we have to overcome the shock and numbness of earlier stages. We must not look away. We must summon the effort necessary to protect this republic,” Comey wrote.

He concluded: “We are headed into the storm our founders feared. Getting safely to the other side will require all of us to resist complacency and cynicism. Yes, the final stage is a test of the founders’ design, but it is also an opportunity to demonstrate American character. This democracy — made up of citizens and their institutions — is strong enough to weather the storm.”

Trump fired Comey in May 2017 as the FBI was mounting its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The action triggered questions about whether Trump was trying to obstruct justice and led to the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to take over the investigation.

Trump repeatedly has attacked Comey as “crazy” and “a dirty cop.”

Before he was fired, Comey said Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty.