In an alternate Republican universe, Comey’s testimony yesterday vindicated the President

I don’t have time to say much this morning, but I felt as though I had to share this tweet of Trump’s.

By way of background, here, from the New Republic, is how everyone else saw Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday.

…Comey took a sledgehammer to the Trump administration’s narrative and made it abundantly clear that Trump tried to influence the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn and that he was fired because he refused to drop that investigation. (To be fair, Trump has also been very clear that he fired Comey for refusing to drop the Russia investigation.) Just as importantly, he made the case that Trump is a liar who, either through incompetence, malevolence, or self-involvement (or all three), is undermining checks and balances and that he is doing so for no other reason than to protect himself. Comey called Trump’s bluff and invited him to release any tapes he might have of their interactions.

Most importantly, though, Comey methodically made the case that Trump obstructed justice, both in their interactions and by firing him. There has been a great deal of speculation about the significance of Trump’s meeting with Comey—and the fact that Trump asked others to leave before asking him to drop the Flynn investigation. Comey declined to speculate, but he made it very, very clear that his interpretation of events was that Trump was attempting to obstruct justice. There can be no other conclusion from his statements before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In three hours Comey dramatically raised the stakes for what is undoubtedly the highest profile investigation since Watergate. Trump (and Flynn and Jeff Sessions and anyone else who was close to the Trump campaign) should be absolutely terrified.

And, here, in case you missed it, are a few video highlights of the well-respected former FBI Director discussing in detail Trump’s misconduct and abuse of power.

For what it’s worth, I was most struck by the fact that Trump, according to Comey, before suggesting that he drop the investigation into Michale Flynn’s collusion with the Russians, first asked everyone else in the room to leave. This, to me, would indicate that he knew damn well that he was about to cross some sort of line. Furthermore, I was struck by the fact that, according to Comey, the President, in spite of the fact that our 17 U.S. intelligence agencies were in agreement that the Russians had actively sought to influence our 2016 election, didn’t seem to show any interest in the subject, instead focusing on how the investigation might impact members of his administration. Taken along with Comey’s testimony concerning Trump’s demand of loyalty, and the fact that Trump, by his own admission, fired Comey for his pursuit of “the Russia thing,” I think any reasonable and open-minded individual should be able to infer obstruction of justice.

But, yeah, Trump says he was completely vindicated because Comey said under oath that, yes, he assured Trump that, at the time, he was not personally under investigation. As Comey pointed out, however, that doesn’t mean he’s not under investigation now for obstruction of justice… And, regardless of how Trump spins it, that’s not the way anyone who’s paying attention saw it.

Here, by the way, is the front page of Trump’s hometown, New York newspaper this morning.

Now’s the time to call your elected officials, especially if they’re republicans, and demand that they put country before party, and force Trump from office. Our Republic cannot exist with this man in power. And this has nothing to do with political gamesmanship. (Pence, I suspect, would accomplish more in office that Trump would.) This is about preserving our country for future generations.

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45 Comments

  1. Morbid Larson
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    At this point, I am not sure why Republicans defend him. Pence would seem preferable to them.

    But, go ahead.

  2. Erin O'Leary
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Mind. Blowing. Definitely an alternate universe.

  3. Eel
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Right wing blogs are focusing on Comey’s sexuality, so that should give you a sense as to how strong their case against his testimony is.

  4. Max
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I have no idea how one can spin Comey’s testimony into a plus for Trump. It’s like trying to make lemonade out of a steaming pile of shit.

  5. David Frum said it best
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    “Thank you, I feel totally vindicated.”

    “Your campaign may have colluded in a foreign espionage attack on US democracy, but we don’t have evidence of your personal complicity”

  6. Jennifer
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Until his supporters are *personally* affected by this pres. either through death, financial ruin, unthinkable health outcomes, personal tragedies, they won’t give two fucks. Too bad the rest of us have to go down with it.

  7. Morbid Larson
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Whatever. You guys lose every time. Whatever you do is hopeless. Coal workers win.

  8. M
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Coal winners didn’t win, ML. They got fucked. Coal jobs are never going to come back. There are more yoga teachers in America than coal industry employees. They were used as political pawns.

  9. Lynne
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Jennifer is right. One characteristic of many Trump supporters is that they have difficulty with abstract thought so they have difficulty comprehending problems until they experience them first hand. That and they are selfish pigs who don’t care about other people and only care about things when it affects them personally.

  10. Charlie Carter
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I can only assume that Trump didn’t watch the hearing & as usual, he’s responding to what some pundit or lackey told him.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Yes, M. True. And Fracking killed the coal industry and may save our asses on this planet as we transition to renewables and figure out energy storage.

    No political position is all right. And every person who feels outrage risks being used politically for ends counter to their goals.

    On the other hand, global warming is opening up new areas of the arctic to oil exploration. Which is part of this whole Russian meddling business. So we need to keep resisting. Resistance is important even when we’re partly wrong about things and even if we lose in the end. Resistance is the only way to keep the conversation going.

  12. Lynne
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    And Trump voters haven’t won. Not really. They want to maintain a social structure where white men are privileged above all others and while that social structure happens to still be in place, it is eroding and continues to erode. I think that is why even though they have won, so many Trump voters are still so angry all of the time.

  13. M
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I suspected he watched every minute of it, CC, stomping his feet like an angry four year old, and shouting “lies” at the television set. But I agree with you that his formal, tweeted response was likely crafted with the input of his brilliant team of sycophants, wet nurses and enablers.

  14. Dan Blakeney
    Posted June 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Paul Ryan is not the first to say shit like this with a straight face either:
    “The president is new at this,” Ryan said. “He’s new to government. ..
    “Therefore I think he is learning as he goes.”

    I’ve heard that on the street.

    Trump knew damn well enough to clear the room before talking to Comey, that’s certain.

    “He’s new at this!” They admit the person they want in the Oval Office, more than any other conceivable person, has no idea how to do perform the function. They don’t care. Just as long as its one of THEM.

  15. EOS
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    @ Lynne,

    Yes, the Trump voters won. There is a new Pro-Life Justice on the Supreme Court and one or two more coming soon. He has already overturned a lot of the inane policies of Obama and he’s just getting started.

    @Mark,
    That alternate Universe of the Republicans is called reality. You ought to visit sometime.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    If the SCOTUS overturns Roe v Wade there will be mass demonstrations everywhere. It’s easy to be anti abortion philosophically when you can still sneak out and get one most places– as many so call fundamentalists do. Erode anymore the right to female bodily agency and it’s going to backfire politically, EOS. Go ahead and try it. It will destroy any political influence fundamentalist Christians have. This is a democracy. You don’t always get your way. We all need to deal with that.

    BTW not all Trumpers are happy. Anne Coulter and Breitbart etc are upset with Trumps budget for funding the military and not the border wall. Not protectionist enough.

  17. Lynne
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    If SCOTUS overturns Roe, it will be a huge step back, to be sure but still will not significantly reduce the progress women have made. For one thing, most women who want one will still be able to get one since traveling to a state where it is allowed will be possible for most women. Also most women will still live in states where the procedure will remain legal. Not to mention the increased availability of safe abortifacients. It would mostly hurt poor women and those with planned pregnancies who need abortions because something has gone terribly wrong.

    It could also result in a pretty big political backlash as Jean suggests which could result in two steps forward in response to that one step back. Sorry EOS, you may win the battle but you will not win the war. Especially considering that most voters want to move forward and the current guy is only there due to an electoral college technicality. The era of white men running the show is still declining as it has been actually since the very beginning of our nation and that isnt going to change.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Lynne– Yes. “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” — and all that.

    EOS will now disparage MLK jr for something… likely related to being human.

    Or insist that God is the ultimate moral authority and that she, EOS is certain of his position, because of her interpretation of a text written by a bunch of men from the passed down oral narratives of some other men remembering some stuff that happened a long time before.

    Because… logic.

  19. Posted June 10, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    In the Washington Post today, there’s a piece by a former FBI agent with the following quote… “Trump’s lack of concern about Russian hacking shocks me.” Here’s how it ends.

  20. Jcp2
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I think Republicans hate liberal Democrats more than autocratic Russians. And why would Trump the grifter investigate himself?

  21. Meta
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Newsweek: “TRUMP IMPEACHMENT CALLS SURGE AS PRESIDENT FACES ‘MOST SERIOUS SCANDAL’ IN U.S. HISTORY”

    Amid James Comey’s damning testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, calls for President Donald Trump to face impeachment proceedings are surging. In the past 48 hours, two of the leading Trump resistance groups have called for the first time for the impeachment process to start against Trump on charges of obstruction of Justice.

    Former FBI Director Comey testified Thursday that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Comey also stated that the reasons given for firing him by the White House were “lies, plain and simple.” Although Comey did not draw his own conclusion on whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice, a federal crime and an impeachable offense, he did say that he was “sure” special counsel Robert Mueller would be investigating.

    Just hours before the testimony, after Comey’s opening statement had been released the previous day, MoveOn.org called for efforts to impeach Trump in the House of Representatives to get underway.

    “In the United States, no one is above the law,” read a statement from Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action. “The testimony that former FBI Director James Comey is expected to deliver today makes clear that Congress must begin impeachment proceedings immediately.

    “MoveOn does not make this call lightly.”

    Read more:
    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-impeachment-comey-testimony-president-623888

  22. EOS
    Posted June 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/06/08/alan-dershowitz-president-trump-could-have-just-pardoned-michael-flynn

  23. Maria Huffman
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Define alternate universe, someone, if they please.

  24. Lynne
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    https://www.space.com/32728-parallel-universes.html

  25. Maria Huffman
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t think that is how most people are using that phrase, Lynne.

  26. Lynne
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    No, I think when people refer to “republican alternate universe” they mean it in the sense that Republicans are making up their own reality and facts and it is a sarcastic usage of the term “alternate universe”. That is my take on it anyways.

    It is helpful when dealing with sarcasm to understand the original meaning of a word. Or else you get situations where if you say that someone is entitled to something, they might think you are accusing them of acting like they deserve something they don’t deserve. The word “entitled” has been used so much sarcastically that its meaning is changing.

  27. Maria Huffman
    Posted June 12, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    oh.

  28. M
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The obstruction case against Trump got stronger today with news that Trump fired Preet Bharara, the US Attorney in the Southern District of New York, to avoid getting prosecuted by him.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-personal-lawyer-boasted-that-he-got-preet-bharara-fired

    From ProPublica:

    Marc Kasowitz, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in the Russia investigation, has boasted to friends and colleagues that he played a central role in the firing of Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to four people familiar with the conversations.

    Kasowitz told Trump, “This guy is going to get you,” according to a person familiar with Kasowitz’s account.

    Those who know Kasowitz say he is sometimes prone to exaggerating when regaling them with his exploits. But if true, his assertion adds to the mystery surrounding the motive and timing of Bharara’s firing.

    New presidents typically ask U.S. attorneys to resign and have the power to fire them. But Trump asked Bharara to stay in his job when they met in November at Trump Tower, as Bharara announced after the meeting.

    In early March, Trump reversed himself. He asked all the remaining U.S. attorneys to resign, including Bharara. Bharara, a telegenic prosecutor with a history of taking on powerful politicians, refused and was fired March 11.

  29. EOS
    Posted June 16, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Breaking News. Mueller has found irrefutable evidence of obstruction of justice. Clinton, Comey, and Lynch to be indicted soon.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted June 16, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s going to be a long road. https://mobile.twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/867172280350146561

  31. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Eos, Mr. Mayhem…I don’t think you know that at all and wrote that as a declarative sentence.

  32. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Director Comey will be indicted. He didn’t like getting fired. President Trump can fire him if he wants to. That is at will employment. However, now President Trump has to deal with a disgruntled, vocal former employee.

  33. EOS
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    What is obstruction of justice? The concealment, alteration, or destruction of documents; and the encouraging or rendering of false testimony. We have the evidence. Clinton gave sworn testimony where she admitted to wiping her hard drive clean and destroying multiple cell phones with a hammer after it was announced that the FBI was looking into the matter. Comey gave immunity to her aides and then destroyed their hard drives. Comey has also admitted in sworn testimony that Lynch encouraged him to lie about whether he was conducting an investigation of Clinton. Bill’s tarmac meeting with Lynch does not pass the smell test. Comey would like us to believe that “No reasonable prosecutor would indict” but many reasonable career prosecutors have published lists of dozens of laws that were violated and for which, in their opinion, there is ample evidence to charge.

    How is it that you can willfully ignore the truth? How can you ignore the facts that are known in the hopes that after years of investigation you might be able to find something similar has been done by your political foes? Where is the cognitive dissonance caused by hoping to impeach the current president over evidence not yet found while ignoring the evidence already found on those that support your political views? Is this the case of the best defense is a good offense? Or more like a young child who responds to every accusation with the response, “No, you are.”

    And now we have Bernie’s supporters turned terrorist and shooting elected officials, celebrities on TV holding up a bloody head made to look like Trump, theatrical productions centered around the assasination of our president, and more. Where’s it going to stop?

  34. Maria E. Huffman
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Trump should be impeached.
    It will stop when we have good schools that don’t want to steal other school districts students to make payroll. And when schools understand that the stats game is one that everyone loses at, except realty companies and house flippers.
    Trump could fire him and he did. oh well. He could nt be beholden to the FBI director for his job. Did Comey affect the elecction? probably a bit. The Russians interfered and FBI had tracked down how..well then they will find out who..and they don’t have to Mueller around to do that.

  35. Maria Huffman
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    if you are asking when will violence on this earth end? probabaly never..but as much is life is not fair, people and policies should not make things less fair. Picking on democrats probabaly will not help things eos.

  36. Maria Huffman
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I really dont think Trump should be impeached..people carryon on TV when he introduced his cabinet as if it was the worst thing ever and I thought lots of people and places do that at the start of meeting…what about the emoluments clause?..well his kids get to be very rich, he gets to be president. you paint democrats with very broad and ugly brushes eos.

  37. EOS
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Maria,
    The Russians tried to hack into a number of computers. Our intelligence agents try to hack into theirs. That’s what intelligence agencies do. That’s why we keep sensitive information stored on devices that are protected from outside hackers, or why we should.

    Do you think they needed Trump or one of his associates to do this? Is the collusion that someone whispered to the Russians at an embassy party to hack Hilliary’s Blackberry because she uses an unsecured server? Or to check Weiner’s home computer? Is there evidence that the Trump campaign sent the Russians the IP addresses?

    All the intelligence agencies have agreed that it is reasonable to believe that Russia tried to hack into American computers. Undoubtably! It is reasonable to believe that the superpowers routinely attempt to hack into the other’s computers. There is no shortage of evidence that this regularly occurs.

    Yet the hysteria continues. Ad nauseum.

  38. EOS
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Imagine the media response if there was a play where Obama was lynched during his presidency. There are too many in this country who want to overturn the results of the last election by any means necessary. The mentality of the Weathermen has overtaken the Democratic Party and mainstream media. If impeachment won’t do it, perhaps an assasination will. But a Republican congress won’t impeach, and President Pence wouldn’t enact a progressive agenda. What’s the end game? Where is it going to stop?

  39. Maria Huffman
    Posted June 17, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Well believe what you want. You’re not nice about democrats yourself. The head thing was too much. But this rancor with some republicans that shooters are.democrats , for whatever reason people are throwing it out there, is just crap..what do you want to do???I just am appalled about people talk about Trump.. I am very tired of turning on the tv or reading a blog and people write things they have no idea is a fact or not. Trump won but not the popular vote..that will make his presidency very difficult. I don’t want any President to fail at being a good President. The opposing party should not always try and impeach the sitting president..that shtick is getting old.

  40. wobblie
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I thought Republicans including Trump were in favor of 2nd. amendment remedies. They just never figured that liberals owned guns and were just as crazy as Republicans with guns. Most bat shit crazy white men go and shoot innocent children or peaceful folks at prayer,or blow up buildings with day care centers, at least this one was shooting at the folks who are largely responsible for our endless wars and at least culpable in the evil that our government engages in. We will probably get some Republican enacted gun control now. Though I believe I heard the other day how Trump has reversed an Obama executive order on the mentally ill being able to procure fire arms. I want to think Obama put additional restrictions on the mentally ill purchasing guns after the attempted assassination of Gifford.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Lee_Loughner

  41. wobblie
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    http://www.guns.com/2016/11/07/she-made-almost-4k-in-2-hours-selling-hillary-targets/https://bossip.com/770102/you-cant-be-serious-nra-sells-life-sized-obama-targets-that-bleed-and-blow-up-when-you-shoot-them/

    Found these two links in about 30 seconds of looking. there are more links of folks making money off of promoting the shooting of democratic politicians. Mainly Obama but also HRC

  42. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Republicans for gun control? Absolutely not. Were it not for the Capitol Police being armed and at the practice, it would have been a bloodbath. There are more shootings committed in places that restrict guns and far less where people are able to defend themselves.

  43. Iron Lung Larson
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    lol

  44. stupid hick
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    “Imagine the media response if there was a play where Obama was lynched during his presidency”

    EOS, imagine a 2012 production of Julius Caesar at the Delta-sponsored Minneapolis Guthrie Theater featured an Obama lookalike in the lead role. Is a more exact analogy possible? I don’t remember any uproar, do you? The comparison has been noted widely in mainstream new articles. If it is news to you that Julius Caesar is about the futility of political violence, and it is a tradition to cast an actor who resembles a contemporary politician, you really need to reconsider the motives of your preferred news sources. Ask yourself whether you should continue to trust a source that misrepresents the truth to try to manipulate you. They want you believe this is a story about liberals promoting political violence. But it’s not. Ask yourself why you’re attracted to the idea that it is. In my social circle I’m as conservative as they come, but I do not tolerate blatant red team propaganda.

  45. Iron Lung Larson
    Posted June 18, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Yep, that really happened.

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