Well it has been quite a few days in the Beltway!
Starting with the firing of James Comey , director of the FBI. Not that the President did not have the authority to do what he did. Rather, like many things Trump does now, it is how he did it and then how it was explained . One thought that some of the language was the result of a syntactically challenged businessman. But in this case it was a disagreement between Trump and his underlings. Was it because of the Deputy Attorney General’s sensible letter or was it that this was only a bit of a pretext, given that Trump said he was going to fire Comey , anyway. Tough to explain that one.
Of course, all this is exacerbated by a waiting press , cougar like, seized to pounce on anything that is in any way negative towards this President. Many of them have been in this ‘stance’ since the election. We have to find something and get this man!
And then the Washington Post , one of the foremost eager beavers on this score, ‘splashes ‘ the story that Trump gave the Russians in their meeting last week , classified information, information that , they alleged , was not suppose to be provided, jeopardizing national security etc, etc. The White House fought back saying nothing inappropriate was provided to the Russians in that meeting. The press were frothing.
Then the New York Times , not to be outdone by their left wing rival , breaks a story that Comey has memos of his meetings with Trump where Trump asked for Comey to go easy on disgraced former Security Chief , Michael Flynn. The White House issued a statement :
‘T]he President has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” an official said. “The President has the utmost respect for our law enforcement agencies, and all investigations. This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the President and Mr. Comey.”
Now as I write neither the evidence about the Russian meeting or the evidence about the Comey memos has been made public. It is at this point alleged by the two newspapers.
The Russian matter may be a difficult one to prove if those who leaked the story to the newspaper were not in the meeting,especially given that those that were in the meeting dispute what is being said. On the Comey matter , even if there is a memo by Comey relating his version of a meeting with Trump , if Trump disputes it , as the White House statement makes clear he will, then we are left with who believes who. Of course, the Press will believe Comey . The public might be another matter, but given the relentless misrepresentation and open hatred that many press people have for the President, it is likely Trump’s image will be tarnished. How badly? That will depend on how the rest of these stories play out and whether there is still more to come. And it is hard to believe the Press won’t find more, whether true, half true, or false.
Jason Caffetz , Chairman of the Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee has already written the FBI seeking Mr. Comey’s memo.