So, when do the wheels finally come off this thing? From the NYT:

President Trump offered a new version of his decision to fire James B. Comey, saying on Thursday that he would have dismissed the F.B.I. director regardless of whether the attorney general and his deputy recommended it.

It was just the latest in a series of statements, some of them contradictory, to whiplash Washington over 48 hours that began with Mr. Comey’s firing on Tuesday evening. And it was unusually harsh: Mr. Trump castigated Mr. Comey as “a showboat” and “a grandstander,” suggesting that his issues with the F.B.I. director went beyond any previously stated concerns.

Mr. Trump said Thursday he had not relied solely on the advice from the Justice Department’s top two leaders in deciding to dismiss Mr. Comey. Earlier, the White House had said that Mr. Trump had acted only after Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, came to him and recommended that Mr. Comey be dismissed because of his handling of last year’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email. In his Tuesday letter terminating Mr. Comey, Mr. Trump said he had “accepted their recommendation.” And Vice President Mike Pence, talking to reporters, echoed his boss.

But by the next day, that story had begun to unravel.

Read it all, and ask yourself why on earth any Republican member of Congress would stand by this president, who is congenitally unable to tell the truth. And look at this:

Only seven days after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president, James B. Comey has told associates, the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief.

The conversation that night in January, Mr. Comey now believes, was a harbinger of his downfall this week as head of the F.B.I., according to two people who have heard his account of the dinner.

As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.

Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.

The White House says this account is not correct.

Maybe the White House is telling the truth here, but I don’t believe it. How can anybody believe it?

The thing to keep in mind is that this Dumpster fire is entirely of Trump’s own making. Maybe Comey deserved to be fired. If so, you don’t fire him in the middle of this Russia investigation, you don’t fire him in a dirty way guaranteed to raise everyone’s suspicions, and you sure don’t lie about it, and send your people (Pence, Sanders, et al.) out to lie about it.

And now, in his NBC News interview today, Trump blew it all up again, suggesting that the Russia probe did play into his rationale for firing Comey:

… and that he had decided to fire Comey no matter what Sessions and Rosenstein said:

HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation?

TRUMP: What I did is, I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not . . .

HOLT: You had made the decision before they came in the room.

TRUMP: I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it, by the way.

HOLT: Because in your letter, you said, ‘I accepted their recommendation.’ So you had already made the decision.

TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

thereby sawing off the limb behind all his spokesmen.

Remember when Sen. Bob Kerrey said of Bill Clinton that he’s “an unusually good liar”? Clinton was. Trump is an unusually bad liar — and it is destroying his administration only four months into his presidency. It is becoming very hard to deny that President Trump believes that the FBI ought to be not just under his authority, but under his control.

If you’re a Republican member of Congress right now, what must you be thinking?

via GIPHY

UPDATE: Here’s a good piece from Politico talking about how, whatever Trump’s real reasons for canning Comey, that Comey had been courting this fate for a long time. Excerpt:

There are already hints that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was gunning for Comey at the White House’s request, but Trump’s letter firing the FBI director came attached to memos from both the attorney general and deputy attorney general that concluded Comey had compromised the bureau’s integrity and reputation.

It’s a conclusion that few in Washington will argue with today. As interviews with current and former FBI agents and executives as well as officials at the Justice Department and both the Obama and Trump White Houses make clear, Comey has spent the past year delivering enemies on all sides all the evidence they needed to conclude that he had become uniquely compromised as FBI director. That cover may prove a fig leaf for Trump’s real reason—hoping to avoid Comey’s tenaciousness as a prosecutor as he finds himself in the FBI’s spotlight—but the seeds of Comey’s downfall have been germinating for years.

UPDATE.2:  So, now the President of the United States is threatening blackmail against the former FBI director to shut him up. Honestly, my pro-Trump readers, at what point do you say, “Enough!”?

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98 Responses to Trump: An Unusually Bad Liar

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  1. Philip Martin says:

    What disturbs me the most is the allegation of Trump’s repeated demand for loyalty from Comey. If the story is correct, then I think Comey was right to respond that he would be honest with the President. But to be completely honest, Comey might have responded that he took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, an oath that supersedes any personal loyalties.

    This loyalty business smacks of banana republicanism, a state toward which we are rapidly bounding, it seems.

  2. Sawbuck says:

    Please forgive me for not developing a case of the fantods over Trump when I watched eight years of Obama lying like a rug and the media covering for him. The level of hypocrisy there pegged the meter decades ago.

    That entire CITY is a Dumpster fire. JFK nailed it when he said “Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” Time has only made that problem worse.

    I feel for Trump’s communication team. They are staying on message generally. The boss? Not so much.

    In any case, this whole Russian hacking thing is as big a nothing burger as has even been served. But it keeps Dem fundraising letters topical!

    We do need a wall. It needs to be built around the beltway.

  3. Lllurker says:

    “What is wrong with you, Rod, a journalist by trade, that you have no skepticism of no-name, no-evidence stories?”

    Actually Noah we are right in the midst of a striking demonstration of how essential mainstream journalism is. To all of us, including those like you who constantly whine about it.

    The parallels to Watergate are uncanny: after more than 40 years the Washington Post is once again right there in the thick of things.

    This also demonstrates how important print journalism is as an institution. So many of our cities are in real jeopardy because their newspapers are no longer able to do investigative reporting.

  4. Noah172 says:

    Even if McCabe contradicts what Noah172 said in his testimony that the White House is not telling the truth, then it is McCabe who is dishonest

    My point in mentioning McCabe is NOT to say that his word is gospel; rather, my point is that McCabe’s public testimony is evidence which the public can evaluate. Maybe McCabe is credible, maybe he isn’t, but McCabe speaking publicly is more substantial than unnamed sources spouting hearsay whom the public cannot evaluate.

    A number of commenters here took/take it as incontrovertible fact that Comey had requested more resources for the Russia probe before his dismissal, based on anonymously sourced news reports. McCabe’s testimony should at the very least cast doubt on that assertion, but you won’t see doubt expressed from the “facts have a liberal bias” crowd.

  5. Joe the Plutocrat says:

    oops, forgot the biggest lie of all, the 44th POTUS was born in Kenya. why would anyone worry about the truth, when lies(good or bad) produce results?

  6. Noah172 says:

    If Trump leaves or is removed from office it will be interesting to see who is able to replace him

    You don’t have to wonder. Presidential succession is spelled out in law. It goes:

    VP (Pence)
    Senate President pro tempore (Hatch)
    House Speaker (Ryan)
    Secretary of State (Tillerson)
    Secretary of Treasury (Mnuchin)

    and so on.

    tl;dr You’re not getting Hillary.

  7. Michelle says:

    Getting out the popcorn and gearing up for a laugh fest as all the usual suspects find clever new ways to defend President Tweet’s preposterous behavior. Ignorance is strength. Outrageous lies are a sign of creative problem-solving abilities. But the emails…

    It’s hard not to be a cynic these days.

  8. Ned says:

    Rod,

    Official Washington may hate this, but trumps base loves the sight of him sticking it to that same establishment. That’s why they voted him in.

    I think you need to check your anti-Trump hatred and take a long hard look in the mirror. It is becoming unhealthy…you are starting to sound identical to some of the people on the far left.

  9. Peterk says:

    “hoping to avoid Comey’s tenaciousness as a prosecutor ”

    well who wouldn’t? don’t forget that Comey was behind the ridiculous Plame investigation that resulted in Scooter Libby being hung out to dry even though Comey and Fitzgerald knew that Libbie had nothing to do with the outing of Plame. Comey wanted a scalp.

    “Deputy Attorney General James Comey reportedly told Fitzgerald, “Follow this anywhere it goes.” In the end, Fitzgerald would take it where he wanted to go regardless of the facts.

    But there was a profound oddity here. Fitzgerald began his work already knowing who had promulgated the leak, for Armitage had confessed as much to the FBI in October. “I may be the guy who caused this whole thing,” he reportedly told a State Department official.”
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/the-smearing-of-scooter-libby/

    “But Cheney and his crew have another good reason to be aghast at the thought of Comey leading the FBI: he was the guy who started the independent Plamegate investigation that ended up tainting Cheney and convicting Scooter Libby, Cheney’s chief of staff, of serious crimes.”
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/fbi-nominee-james-comey-triggered-plamegate-investigation

  10. CharleyCarp says:

    Folks are overreading ‘any reason or no reason.’ The best analogy is general employment law: an employer can fire an employee who doesn’t have a written contract for ‘any reason or no reason,’ except that an employer cannot with impunity fire an employee because, for example, the employee is a Christian.

    The question here is whether Trump was attempting to obstruct/impede an investigation into the conduct of Flynn, Manafort, Page and others. He seems to be saying that he was — notwithstanding serious efforts above to argue about what the definition of is is.

    Those confident that there’s nothing to investigate, because in all this time nothing has leaked should stop and consider (a) not everything leaks and (b) if the FBI doesn’t have all (and hasn’t reviewed) the relevant documents yet, you’d hardly expect them to conclude that there isn’t any evidence of wrongdoing. Question to you, then: why do you think that the FBI already has all the relevant documents? Feel free to take the recently reported subpoenas and this week’s raid in Annapolis into account in your answer.

  11. Doug says:

    So, is it just me or did Trump just tweet a threat to Comey to keep him quiet? This is getting out of hand.

    Donald J. Trump:
    “James Comey better hope there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

    So, we’ve gotten to the point where the President of the United States is publicly threatening the former FBI Director he literally just fired in an attempt to make him keep quiet. Note, this FBI director was in the midst of conducting an investigation against this very same President.

    It all just so transparently screams out: what might Comey have to say that would lead Trump to publicly threaten him?

    What scares Trump so much that Comey knows?

    How are Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway going to spin this as something totally normal?

  12. TR says:

    Noah172: you criticize a journalist for relying on anonymous sources? Journalists are the only ones who depend on anonymous sources? (Which is not to say it’s not a real problem.)

    Everyone should read William Dalton at 12:54 p. m. Trump has no idea whether he is lying or not. It’s called mythomania. An excellent fictional example is in Malraux’s “Man’s Fate.”

  13. Steve says:

    Rod, I don’t understand how he lied re: Comey. He could easily have decided to fire Comey AND accepted the recommendation to do so.

    [NFR: The official story keeps changing, is why he lied. — RD]

  14. Will Harrington says:

    So, since honesty in a presidential administration is something we haven’t even expected since, oh “read my lips, no new taxes” now we’re supposed to worry that the current one can’t lie competently? Nope, I don’t have the time for this. We got what w deserved. Well. no, I really think we deserved far worse and Trump is an example of mercy.

  15. Richard says:

    Rod (and those trumpeting Trump lies, failures, and removal):
    Dems & left lowered the truth-telling and moral bar in 90’s by standing by their man, Pres. Bill Clinton. Every POTUS since has told us huge, demonstrable lies for their political ends. Recalling a few clears the mind and helps the hyperventilating:

    “If you like your plan or your doctor, you can keep them.”

    “There’s not a smidgeon of corruption” said Obama re Lerner & IRS targeting scandal done to aid Obama’s re-election.

    Recall Susan Rice (false talking points re Benghazi to protect Obama’s foreign policy credibility & reelection), HRC (re her emails, personal servers, abuses of classified information, & destroying 1000s of federal records), Sec of State Kerry and Obama (re Iran deal$$). Now you, NYT, WaP, NBC pundits, and Dems are outraged we have an amoral and very poor liar as POTUS! Sigh. But both the evident successes & failures of our media, have made reason and prudence all the more essential and valuable for responding to each news cycle. Thankfully, Rod, you know the touchstone for doing so.

    I’m with Noah172 and others urging better, more critical reading of the many rumors and reports roiling WA and media. Aren’t Congressional and FBI investigations continuing apace properly? If evidence of criminal actions by Trump or his campaign is found, proper actions (special prosecutor?) will be taken when appropriate. Take some comfort in the proper actions re Gen. Flynn and Congressional investigative committees. Perhaps nothing is more needed just now than Congress renewing its powers vis a vis the executive and our now imperial presidency.

  16. MikeCLT says:

    Rod, we have gotten used to you going all CNN at the mention of Trump but you are venturing into MSNBC territory now.

    Take everything the NYT/Carlos Slim’s personal Blog reports about Trump with a grain of salt. Their lead story yesterday was that Comey was fired after requesting additional resources. This is false. It’s almost as if they are making stuff up.

    Save your money on a NYT subscription and just sign up for daily email alerts from the DNC.

  17. Criminal D Lawyer says:

    The fact that there might be a good reason to fire Comey is irrelevant. Intent matters. If you flush your stash because you’re headed to rehab and you’re sick of the stuff, that’s admirable. If you flush your stash because the cops are pounding on the door, that’s obstruction.

  18. Kevin says:

    “None of the smug, sanctimonious impeach-Trump people who comment here have any answer to McCabe’s testimony, nor to the gossipy nature of most anti-Trump stories.”

    “But today, here’s Rod acting like we’re supposed to believe the NY Times.

    It’s not just the NY Times that has destroyed its credibility. Conservatives like Rod have, too.”

    There is something so hillarious about “realists” buying the fake news thing, not understanding that it’s kayfabe, pure and simple.

    When the AHCA was pulled, the first calls Trump made were to Robert Costa from WAPO, and Maggie Haberman from the Times. The latter also had not one, but two, Oval Office interviews with Trump. His staff, in the meanwhile, is leaking like mad, to the fake news media (the WaPo story about Comey’s firing had 30 White House sources..).
    Seriously guys: Trump is delivering on a lot of his promises re, say, immigration, but anyone who takes his war on the elite media seriously is a rube of the first degree.

  19. Al Bundy says:

    As long as Trump’s lies don’t result in the 10-year occupation of a Muslim country…

    Enough with Russia nonsense already, before things get out of hand. There is no evidence. BTW, if the NYT/WAPO propaganda machine and Progressive establishment eventually succeed in starting a war with Russia, are progressives going to enlist to fight this war? Or, are they just gonna leave it to cis-het-white boys from Middle America?

  20. KD says:

    I don’t know why Trump isn’t talking to Pat Buchanan about this stuff before he does it. He could spare himself a lot of unnecessary pain. It’s not like they aren’t gunning for him already.

  21. Sam M says:

    JonF

    “A foolishly stupid bad prediction is not the same as a bare-faced lie.” Oh come on. Sure it is. If I craft, say, a tax cut, and study after study shows that this tax cut is going to reduce revenue, then I need to come to terms with the fact that it will reduce revenue. To go out and say, well, guys, don’t worry about the deficit! And don’t worry about the social safety net! I am going to INCREASE safety net spending AND reduce the deficit with this tax cut because the tax cut will result in MORE revenue…

    That’s a lie. It’s a cynical ploy to mislead people in order to gain support for what would otherwise be an unpopular measure. A ploy based on what I know, or should know, to be false.

    Let’s say Trump starts a war in Syria and sells it by insisting that “they will greet us as liberators.” That’s a lie, at this stage, right? What if he said, not only will they greet us as liberators, it will decrease military spending, it will cure cancer, it will cure obesity, it will end the opioid epidemic and it will make everyone become a wonderful dancer.

    Bad prediction? Or willful, deceitful overpromising in order to gin up support that would not otherwise be there?

  22. icarusr says:

    Rod

    Your pro-Trump group produces some of the best comedy on the internet. You know I got pretty upset with some of the antics last year. Now, it’s pure theatre of the type Ionesco could only dream of and Marx (both Karl and Groucho) could only envy.

    There is one thing I say in favour of pro-Trumpers: they sought someone who would set the place on fire; Trump has delivered; they are cheering him on. Because, in all honesty, a house that so easily burns (I’m looking at “establishment” and “respectable” Republicans who are lighting their cigars with the flames) deserves to get lost in own ashes. The Republic is dead; long live the Confederacy (of Dunces).

  23. collin says:

    In terms of watching the Russian investigation, the worst evidence against Trump is own twitter feed and interviews. So far it appears the FBI turned up:

    1) Constant Russian fake news and twitter feeds.
    2) The Kato Kaelin of this, Carter Page, had meetings with the Russians.
    3) Some twitter feeds from Roger Stone of possible coordination with hackers
    4) Flynn breaking all kind paperwork filings during the transition.
    5) Manafort past history
    6) Known Trumps buiness ties
    7) Sergia had lots of meetings with Trumps team

    Basically lots of smoke and nothing that comes close to Impeachment material. (Even now I don’t think it happens.) Yes, questionable activity that is like HRC e-mails that might be chanted at rallies. And every time the investigation moves slightly forward, Trump overacts with a bad Poker twitter tell that signals something worse.

    Otherwise, every major issue during Trump was self-inflicted at this point.

  24. Zeno says:

    Criminal D Lawyer: nice metaphor.

    JDM: re deadly sins
    I suggested last year that the Drumpfster should pick Sloth as his running mate, since he had the other precincts sewn up.

  25. Lllurker says:

    Al Bundy: “… BTW, if the NYT/WAPO propaganda machine and Progressive establishment eventually succeed in starting a war with Russia …”

    Where in the world are you and Noah hearing this bizarre talking point?

  26. The Wet One says:

    “Honestly, my pro-Trump readers, at what point do you say, “Enough!”?”

    My guess is, not until the republic is in ruins around them, their wives dismayed due to their sickened and dead children and their own homes are smoldering rubble around them.

    Extreme partisanship is a terrible thing. Faction uber alles is an awful way to participate in society.

  27. Stay At Home Wife says:

    Maybe I’m *too* detached, but I can’t help but notice how many people let Trump live in their heads rent-free, 24/7.

    Is Trump a terrible person? Yes. Is he wildly incompetent? Yes. Is he shorn of *any* guiding principles or coherent worldview whatsoever, outside of his weird little Trumpcentric universe? Yes. That’s why a lot of us fought hard against him in the primaries, and refused to vote for him in the general. (Even as we also refused to vote for Hillary because she has basically the same problems.)

    But here’s the thing: Whatever Trump does or doesn’t do, whoever gets blackmailed or not, goes to jail or not, gets impeached or not, becomes president or not, you know what I’m going to do today? Enjoy brunch with my husband, let the dog in and out a thousand times, say my prayers, mow the lawn, maybe do a load of laundry, read the new issue of First Things, hang up a few pictures in my new house, pray vespers, fry up some halloumi, convince my husband to get the grill out so we can do pork chops for dinner, and spend the evening on the couch reading the BenOp book.

    BUT THE WORLD IS GOING TO PIECES AND TRUMP IS A DISASTER!!!

    Yup. But come on, Christians. These are but the birth pangs. Calm down and hang on, it’s only going to get worse. Jesus said so. Hug your kids, say your prayers, go to church on Sunday. Tend your own plot. It’s going to be okay. Jesus said so.

  28. Wes says:

    “Honestly, my pro-Trump readers, at what point do you say, “Enough!”?”

    Oh probably something criminal.

  29. JWJ says:

    You are using the NYT as a source of information about politics, really????. They LIE and deceive about anything and everything that could possibly hurt conservatives. They will lie and deceive about anything and everything if it can help democrats. How can any rational person think that the NYT, Washington Post, NBCCBSABCCNN are credible sources of truthful information? If any of these democrat media claim a “source”, if that person is NOT explicitly named, then they are making it up.

    The “media” is the opposition party to Trump. And you claim to use the opposition party as information on Trump? I am sorry Mr. D and I don’t mean to be personally rude, but that is simply not intelligent in this instance.
    My goodness to the other commenters saying that the world is going to end and this is the second coming of Nixon, stop clutching your pearls and banging on your highchair.

    As O.L Johnson wrote: “… but in reality it’s the MSM that is fabricating train wrecks right, left, and center. People are starting to tune it out, which is dangerous, because how will we know if there is a real train wreck that we should pay attention to.”

    Next up, supreme court nominee #2. Pass the popcorn.

  30. JLF says:

    I’m beginning to wonder how many slept through high school civics (or the early 70s.) The legal/constitutional issue isn’t whether or not Trump lied or even whether or not he has the power to fire the Director of the FBI without cause. (Most agree answers to both of these questions questions is in the affirmative.) The issue is whether or not Trump fired the Director of the FBI to impede the investigation into Russian connections to the Trump campaign. If he did, AND if he did so intentionally, AND if there is a crime involved, then he can be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

    The Supreme Court has held that the president is not immune from civil suit while in office. There is no precedent for a president being prosecuted for a criminal act, and given that federal prosecutors serve at his pleasure, it’s not likely that any but the most heinous and obvious crimes might be considered anyway. The federal statute of limitations for obstruction is five years from the date of the obstruction, so, I suppose, a one term Donald Trump could be indicted and tried after he leaves office, though that is also highly unlikely.

    The real danger to Trump (or any president – cf Richard Nixon) from an obstruction of justice charge is the likelihood of impeachment should a majority of Congress find such a charge has merit. And while I personally have no doubt that Trump fired Comey, intending to stop the Russian investigation, I’m not aware of what specific federal crime the investigation might uncover. Rather, the real fear animating Trump is the embarrassment and political damage that might come from the appearances. For while the oft repeated notion that he could shoot someone in broad daylight on the streets of New York suggests an granite-like base, the reality is that base would largely crumble if the credible EVIDENCE shows Trump in the pocket of the Russians, doing their bidding for money paid or profits anticipated from his Russian business holdings.

  31. Lllurker says:

    “A number of commenters here took/take it as incontrovertible fact that Comey had requested more resources for the Russia probe before his dismissal, based on anonymously sourced news reports. McCabe’s testimony should at the very least cast doubt on that assertion, but you won’t see doubt expressed from the “facts have a liberal bias”

    Noah events have eclipsed your talking points. We now have it directly from the horses mouth that he fired Comey to end the investigation. And if that’s not enough, or his wording wasn’t clear enough for you, we also have it from his new spokesperson.

  32. EngineerScotty says:

    Honestly, my pro-Trump readers, at what point do you say, “Enough!”?

    When the last Mexican is deported? When, as the old saw goes, the last liberal is strangled with the entrails of the last leftist?

    Trump’s true supporters don’t mind this flagrant abuse of power, and want more of it.

  33. JonF says:

    Re: “A foolishly stupid bad prediction is not the same as a bare-faced lie.” Oh come on. Sure it is.

    See my remarks beyond those you quoted. A bad prediction is STUPID but it is not dishonest.
    This by the way correlates with the general adage “Never ascribe to malice what can be ascribed to incompetence.”

  34. Ellimist000 says:

    Will Harrington,

    There is a categorical difference between making a political promise and then changing it or even reversing it based on new information or pragmatic reality, or even lying by omission or technicalities, like the Clintons often do, and the outright, orwellian fiction that Trump and his allies are doing. There is almost a cosmically horrific purity to it. People who can’t see this for what it is have no truth at all.

    This is where I start to see Rod’s concerns about our culture. I just cannot fathom how people can interact with others, including family, in a healthy fashion and honestly believe in their hearts that this is OK, even in service against an “enemy”.

    But you are right, this is probably what we deserve…

  35. VikingLS says:

    “President Bush did not act like this.
    You could certainly disagree with their policies, but at leaSt they were honest men.”

    They had better impulse control, but that didn’t make them honest.

  36. One Man says:

    Stay At Home Wife is on to something. I get so much entertainment from this White House, I may stop watching the Kardashians*, but I don’t worry about it too much. So far, Trump’s shenanigans haven’t affected my life adversely. Although, if Kim Jong Un nukes San Francisco, that would change…

    *No, I really don’t.

  37. Read it all, and ask yourself why on earth any Republican member of Congress would stand by this president, who is congenitally unable to tell the truth.

    They find him useful, so far. And it sounds like Trump is the one who had better hope there are no tapes.

  38. WillW says:

    Noah172….Ryan, then Hatch but otherwise…yeah. The reason Speaker is next in line is that Truman and Sam Rayburn were big buddies when presidential succession was set, or so goes the story. They didn’t need to go past Veep in the more innocent pre atomic bomb age.

  39. The Other Side says:

    I’m no Trump fan but Jeez… Has he overthrown any countries yet? Thrown any more freedoms out the window? He hasn’t removed anyone’s healthcare. He’s not even bothering to hire all the lackey’s he could. So he talks like an idiot. So what? Are his annoying tweets somehow more powerful than millions dead halfway around the world and the return of open slavery there? Is he really doing any more damage than the last two, or has he simply torn the mask of the scum that has been ruling the country and shown them for exactly what they’ve always been? Is his White Trash Billionaire form so much more vile than using armies of flying robots to kill goatherders for questionable reasons and returns? I’ll gladly accept him talking trash and working on his golf game and accomplishing nothing over the plans the so called rational and competent people would introduce at this point.

  40. Al Bundy says:

    Llurker:

    Many here are making analogies with Watergate; I don’t know about that since I didn’t live through it. But I do see a lot of similarities with the media’s treatment of Russia right now and the lead up to the Iraq invasion in 2003.

    If you recall, Americans had to be primed for the invasion of Iraq with almost two years of non-stop coverage about Saddam Hussein, who had hitherto been completely irrelevant. In this case, Fox News was the most egregious propaganda machine.
    Similarly, it seems to me that the Russia coverage came out of nowhere. I never heard about Putin, and then all of a sudden, lunatics like McCain start trying to initiate hostilities over Ukraine. Over the past year or so, it’s been non-stop reporting on how evil Putin is–he locked up Pussy Riot, suppresses gay rights, colludes with the Orthodox Church, imprisons journalists, etc. Now, he’s meddling in American politics. The propaganda has become so commonplace, it regularly shows up as clickbait on Yahoo news.

    I don’t know if war is the ultimate endgame, but it sure sounds like it.

  41. Weldon says:

    The “if you like your health insurance you can keep it” was a particularly egregious unforced error. It wasn’t true before the ACA, and it still wasn’t true after the ACA. Insurance customers have essentially zero bargaining power and never have; everybody can just get what the insurer is willing (that year) to give them.

  42. C. L. H. Daniels says:

    Here’s what I think.

    The Russia thing is all smoke and no fire; if there was fire, we’d have heard about it by now seeing as there are clearly a very large number of people in Washington who would almost instantly leak any credible evidence that Trump’s actually some sort of foreign agent or otherwise compromised by the Russians. The absence of any such reports is actually a fairly strong argument in favor of the possibility no one’s been able to find any actual evidence of wrongdoing to date.

    Now, assuming that Trump is in fact innocent of anything resembling actual collaboration with Moscow, then Trump would presumably feel himself to be innocent. Believing this, the way that this affair has been covered in the media has predictably gotten under his skin and brought out his persecution complex. In his mind, he’s innocent, and the fact that he can’t seem to change this narrative, make it go away, or prove his innocence is a source of ongoing frustration.

    Because he believe himself to be innocent, in his frustration he turns to Comey and says “You haven’t found anything, you’re not going to find anything, and what’s more you probably know you’re not going to find anything. Can you please hurry up and tell everyone that there’s no there, there?” Comey, appropriately, declines to do this until the investigation has run its course. The frustration builds. Trump’s had enough, he’s just looking for an excuse to fire the guy, and then Comey takes some heat during testimony to Congress. “Aha!”, says Trump to himself. “This is my chance!” He figures that Comey has enough critics that no one’s going to defend him and everyone else will be glad to see him go. Huge miscalculation.

    Now, having hugely miscalculated, Trump’s even more frustrated, and, being largely unable to restrain himself, he’s lashing out left and right and, as he is prone to do when on the attack, exaggerating and even fabricating in the process. All of which simply provides more grist to the media mill which is only too happy to spin this story into Watergate 2.0 and construe his every action and utterance in the worst possible light, which in turn just feeds his outrage and victim mentality even further. Downward spiral of self-destructive behavior engaged.

    So here we are. Eventually, someone is going to manage to convince Trump to shut up and let this die down, but it’s going to be days, if not weeks before it does. Getting a new FBI director confirmed will be next to impossible, if he can even find someone willing to endure the crucible that the confirmation process will surely be. Meantime, it will be a miracle if Trump can keep his mouth shut about this for long before he boils over and complains about it again, thus putting it back into the news cycle. It is exactly the kind of story that is now never going to die.

    Given all this, I have a hard time seeing it as anything worth getting worked up over other than to lament that a man who actually managed to challenge the Washington consensus in many ways that I concur with has proven to be such an inept and uniquely terrible person to deliver what is a desperately needed corrective. It’s not frightening, or even that outrageous, it’s more sad than anything else.

  43. JonF says:

    Re: They didn’t need to go past Veep in the more innocent pre atomic bomb age.

    John Wilkes Booth and his gang planned to kill not just Lincoln, but also Vice President Johnson, Secretary of State Seward, and General Grant too for good measure. Grant left town unexpectedly (yes, the 19th century tin-foil hatters had a field day with that fact); the guy assigned to Johnson chickened out and got drunk at a bar; and the guy who attacked Seward used a knife not a gun, badly wounding but not killing him. But if the boozehound had had some real courage, and if a gun had been used instead of a knife at Seward’s home, the US government might have been effectively decapitated in 1865.

  44. Kelly says:

    ‘When will my Pro-trump readers say “enough”?’

    Well, when will the ‘land of the free’ give us more choices than Mrs oligarchy, aren’t you deplorable?, Hillary Clinton and a transparent liar for president? Media is as much to blame for Trump in office as us deplorables. I’d have taken Bernie way above those two but the powers that be only offer us two sides to a two-headed-coin. Go figure…

  45. Dale McNamee says:

    I am very happy not to have supported or voted for Trump…Ever since he first burst “onto the scene” in 1988, I never trusted or believed him…

    I also did not vote for Clinton or Johnson…

    I voted for Tom Hoefling… Look him up…

  46. Ken T says:

    Honestly, my pro-Trump readers, at what point do you say, “Enough!”?

    Just like with deficits, they’ll start to care about it the next time a Dem holds the office. Until then, all is good.

  47. gVOR08 says:

    Trump’s approval drops a couple points below 40% with each new outrage then recovers. His lies got him elected President. Whether he’s a good liar or bad, he’s certainly been an outstandingly successful liar.

    Yesterday I commented at Outside the Beltway that the majority of commenters there are not Trump’s audience and he and his staff don’t care that we know he’s lying. I think the same can be said for TAC.

    When he made the statement he might have tape of Comey you heard a laughably obvious bluff. The Trumpskyites heard, ‘I’ve got Comey by the nads.’

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