Let me get this straight: former FBI Director James Comey “claims” that President Donald Trump asked him to stop the Russia investigation into Trump Campaign collusion during the 2016 election. The NY TIMES published a story releasing the bombshell information that has set the News Media on fire. The TIMES report has shifted the Washington Politicrat Villagers into high gear and they are storming the castle — the White House — demanding the head of the President. Wait a minute: that is not literally happening, but might as well be. The NY TIMES just handed the Liberal Left another stick of dynamite and they are all storming the castle to blow up the evil king. But before they blow up the President and the White House, let’s try to find a thread of truth in all this — if there is one.
First, the old tried and tested journalistic saying should be applied here: “consider the source.” Of course the TIMES has done so or they would not have released the story. They along with their Washington D.C. counterparts at the WASHINGTON POST are the national bastions of truth in reporting and have through decades never printed a story without sourcing the story’s information, vetting the source, and confirming story content. So if either newspaper releases a story we do not even have to stop to “consider the source,” right? WRONG!
Just last week the WASHINGTON POST printed two stories that were patently wrong. The TIMES has done the same thing over and over again in the last six months. The targets of their “Fake News” has perpetually been Donald Trump: both as a candidate and since January as President. For those reasons, Americans should be pretty cautious about taking any negative story from either source about the President at face value. Why don’t we analyze this latest attack on the President? Let’s “source” this blockbuster story that if true, will shake if not destroy this Presidency.
- A TIMES reporter in a telephone call with an assistant of former FBI Director Comey was told President Trump asked Comey to intervene in the Russia investigation of former NSA Director Michael Flynn. To be clear, (and I know this will surprise you) the assistant is unnamed, so this information has been given to the TIMES by an “unnamed source.” Hmm…..we haven’t heard that before, have we? In a previous blog edition we discussed why a news outlet would ever publish a story quoting an “unnamed source.”
There are only two legitimate explanations for doing so. One is to protect the identity of the source so as to not place them in harms way for relaying the information. The second is because the source does not want to be exposed as giving incorrect and/or unverified information that is either incorrect from the beginning or unverifiable. In either case, the reporter still has the requirement to verify the information given from at least two legitimate sources. In this case it was “he said/she said” and nothing more. Congress: make it a criminal offense for a national media outlet to release stories including information obtained from “unnamed sources” about President Trump or ANY President. It’s OK to release stories with sources included. Without them, they’re just tabloid gossip.
- What proof does that unnamed source have of the request made by the President for Comey to stop the Russian investigation of Flynn? Simple: the source has a memo verifying the President’s request! That is a game changer, isn’t it? I wonder how a Comey assistant would even have access to a memo from the President to the FBI Director, because any such memo would be classified and only those with the highest level of government clearance should have such access. (Maybe that’s why the source remains “unnamed”) But wait…the memo did NOT come from President Trump. It is reportedly a memo written by FBI Director Comey ABOUT the President’s request for Comey to interfere!
Any editor worth his or her salt would NEVER put their paper’s credibility on the line to use information obtained this way and publish an attack against a sitting President. The TIMES has shown its ilk in doing so. Remember this: the fuel in that stick of dynamite comes not from TNT but from the anger and resentment of the editors and publishers of the TIMES from all the times during the 2016 campaign in which then Candidate Trump called the TIMES a “Fake News” outlet, and in doing so diminished in the minds of most Trump supporters the reputation of the paper itself. Remember: more than 60 million Americans — all news targets for the TIMES — IF they were subscribers or readers of the TIMES before the campaign, during the campaign cancelled or stopped reading it because of Trump’s nonstop attacks on the paper. TIMES writers, editors, and publishers have an axe to grind with the President. There is no doubt their vitriolic responses would rise to the level of printing unsubstantiated stories from unnamed sources just to do anything to attack President Trump. Remember: “Payback is Hell.”
Let’s agree there IS a memo, and I’m not certain there is since I have not seen it. (As crazy as the TIMES has become I’m curious why they haven’t published the memo yet) It has been said that Comey often wrote such memos after meetings and phone calls to memorialize contents of those calls for future reference. So let’s look at the memo, at least at what is reported:
- According to the “unnamed source,” the Comey meeting with the President in which the request was made by Trump occurred on February 14th and the memo was penned by Comey shortly thereafter. As a timeline for reference, Flynn resigned as NSA Director Monday afternoon, February 13. I find it a bit curious that President Trump would a day later ask the FBI to stop investigating the person he fired the day before. (Just my thoughts)
- Comey reportedly wrote the memo in question several days later. And apparently that memo has been kept somewhere in a vacuum until what happened? Comey got fired. But the request by the President, as damning as it is, of the FBI Director should NOT have lived in a vacuum, and certainly should not have considering the chain of events that occurred AFTER that Valentines Day meeting with the President. Comey as head of the FBI most certainly should have shared that Presidential request with Intelligence officials, especially with the unending and massive concentration by all on the alleged Russian election interference. But Comey buried the information. Let’s understand the timeline.
This story published Friday, March 10th by CNN: “FBI Director James Comey spent Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill meeting with the eight lawmakers who have access to the most highly classified information, sources told CNN. Comey was scheduled to meet with the House members of the so-called Gang of Eight at 5 p.m., and he met earlier in the afternoon with the senators in the group — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence committee, Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner respectively. The House members include House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff. Comey’s visit comes after Schiff accused the FBI director of stonewalling House members in a briefing last week and both Schiff and Nunes aired their concerns that Comey had been withholding information from the group through last year.”
So Comey was called on the carpet for allegedly withholding information from members of a very important Congressional group, and at that meeting to discuss just that three weeks after the President’s alleged request of Comey, the FBI Director did not inform that group the President was attempting to obstruct justice by intervening in an investigation of a foreign government’s meddling in American elections? That is impossible for me to believe.
What’s going on here? There is no doubt that Comey probably wrote the memo. I have no idea when it was written, and that likely makes no difference. My conclusions come from what we know about former Director Comey: First, he is publicity driven. This characteristic of his was made apparent to all by the way he injected himself into the 2016 election cycle, taking on himself the ability to directly impact the results of a national election. He did so by not just the timing of his press conferences to discuss the Clinton email investigation, but even making public comments about the matter. In doing so he immediately lost all intelligence credibility.
Comey is probably a narcissist — maybe not to the degree of some others on today’s national political stage, but a narcissist no doubt. He loves being front and center. He loved being FBI Director. And now that national spotlight has been taken from him by…..Donald Trump. You’ve heard “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?” For the purpose of this issue let’s re-write that: “Hell hath no fury like a narcissistic, former FBI Director who was fired.”
I think Comey is lying. (and remember: we have NO memo in hand to examine yet) AND WE’LL NEVER KNOW FOR SURE IF HE LIED! Why? If/when we actually see the memo, we will never know (since the Director allegedly wrote it about a meeting with Trump with no witnesses) if the request was ever made by the President. So the damage to the President has already been done. And there’s no way to put the genie back in the bottle.
President Trump needs to understand that NO one in the media can be trusted, and that everyone with whom he has conversations may repeat those. I suggest he initiate a process in which every conversation he has is recorded — not secretly. Create a process that is made public for all to understand that anytime you have a conversation with the President — either in person or by phone — it will be recorded. Yes, in doing so some people will be put off and may not say things they otherwise might say to the President if they were not being recorded. But knowing now that no conversation he has will be confidential should now be the basis for every meeting he has.
If he does not take control of with whom he meets, what is said in those meetings, and the content of every meeting recorded, he will be nothing but a target for the antagonists who have one objective and no other: “Dump Trump.”