- Associated Press - Monday, October 23, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Scorned by President Donald Trump, former FBI director James Comey turned up in, of all places, Iowa this past weekend.

Cue the speculation.

One of Trump’s best-known adversaries was seen dining at 801 Chophouse in Des Moines, the must-stop steakhouse for the political elite eyeing the state’s quadrennial presidential caucuses.

Comey, who was fired by the president in May, also posed for a photo along a rural, farm road with a neatly groomed field and shining stainless steel grain bins as his backdrop, as countless White House aspirants have done before him.

However, Comey was not, it appears, taking the fledgling steps of those who would seek the office Trump now holds. He was visiting his in-laws.

Damon Murphy, general manager of 801 Chophouse, said Comey was visiting with his wife Patrice, an Iowa native, whose father was celebrating his 90th birthday. Murphy said Comey and party “quietly enjoyed their meal.”

Twitter had fun as Comey used the pseudonym handle Reinhold Niebuhr, the name of the late American theologian and political critic, to post photos. One showed him gazing across a rural landscape under a cloud-swept autumn sky.

The pseudonym was confirmed as Comey by Brookings Institution legal analyst Benjamin Wittes.

The tweets also included shots of a silhouetted Comey in a cornfield facing an orange sunset and a flock of white birds identified as “migrating white pelicans in Iowa.”

“Goodbye Iowa. On the road home,” said the caption of one picture of Comey actually standing on a road. In introducing the Twitter account, he added, “Gotta get back to writing. Will try to tweet in useful ways,” a comment sure to be interpreted as a jab at his prolifically tweeting former boss.

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