WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch is defending her actions in the Hillary Clinton email investigation following criticism from former FBI Director James Comey in his new tell-all book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”

In a statement to The Associated Press, Lynch responds to criticism from Comey that, early in the email inquiry, she had instructed him to refer to it as a “matter” rather than an “investigation.” The book is to be released to the public on Tuesday, April 17.

A copy of former FBI Director James Comey's new book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership," is on display, Friday, April 13, 2018, in New York. In the book, Comey compares U.S. President Donald Trump to a mob boss demanding loyalty, suggests he's unfit to lead and mocks the president's appearance. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

In the book, Comey compares President Donald Trump to a mob boss demanding loyalty, suggests he’s unfit to lead and mocks the president’s appearance. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Lynch says she was simply following longstanding Justice Department protocol against confirming or denying the existence of an investigation.

She says she rose above politics throughout the email investigation, and never discussed it with anyone from the Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee.

Lynch also says that Comey never raised any concerns with her regarding the email investigation.

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Meantime, President Donald Trump is again calling former FBI Director James Comey a “slimeball” ahead of the publication of his new book.

Trump’s morning tweet comes ahead of Comey’s interview with ABC to be broadcast in full Sunday 9 p.m. CST on ABC’s “20/20.”  It’s his first interview since being fired as FBI chief in May, 2017.

In an excerpt shown Saturday, Comey says his belief that Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election was a factor in his decision to disclose the investigation into her emails.

In a tweet, Trump says: “Unbelievably, James Comey states that Polls, where Crooked Hillary was leading, were a factor in the handling (stupidly) of the Clinton Email probe. In other words, he was making decisions based on the fact that he thought she was going to win, and he wanted a job. Slimeball!”