On Friday, the long-awaited Comey memos were finally released… and the entire nation wondered in unison at what the big deal was supposed to be?
Truly, the Comey memos were an absolute waste of time for the Trump-haters, but they held at least one or two nuggets of interest for the President’s supporters.
While we already knew almost every detail of information that was contained within the memo, their release offers new context on certain things that we’ve learned over the last year or two.
The first was that the memos give us context for the seemingly odd request from Trump to Comey about the former FBI Director giving the President his loyalty.
On it’s own, the request sounds strange. It even fits the media narrative of Trump as an authoritarian… but the memos now give us context for the President’s loyalty comments.
It seems that in a previous encounter, Comey told the President about some (not all) of the salacious content in the “Steele Dossier.” Immediately following that meeting, someone in the FBI leaked those gory details to the media, embarrassing the President. The next time they met, the two men discussed the barrage of leaks coming from within the intelligence community and Comey informed the President that “the entire government leaks like crazy.” It was at this moment that the President asked Comey for his loyalty – in what sounds more like a request to make sure that the FBI doesn’t leak any more information.
Byron York explains how the context paints President Trump in a much better, and more sympathetic light:
Comey’s memo of the meeting — released in the midst of Comey’s publicity tour — does not mention that Trump asked for loyalty. In fact, it notes that Trump said a number of complimentary things about Comey. “He said he thought very highly of me and looked forward to working with me,” Comey wrote. But no talk of loyalty, at least as far as Comey noted.
At Comey’s next meeting with the president, however, on January 28, Trump brought up loyalty, according to the Comey memos. The two men were discussing leaks and how damaging they could be. Comey explained to the president that “the entire government leaks like crazy.” Then Comey wrote that, “[Trump] replied that he needed loyalty and expected loyalty.”
The news of that exchange — leaked by Comey after Trump fired him — spurred widespread outrage over Trump’s mention of loyalty. But the context of Trump’s statement — not known until now — adds to our understanding of the president’s talk.
Why would Trump wonder about the FBI director’s loyalty? Perhaps because in their first meeting, the FBI director dropped the Moscow sex allegation on Trump, followed immediately by its publication in the media. It seems entirely reasonable for a president to wonder what was going on and whether the FBI director was loyal, not to the president personally, but to the confidentiality that is required in his role as head of the nation’s chief investigative agency.
Now, all of a sudden, Trump doesn’t sound like a despot. Instead, he sounds like a leader who is asking his team to do their jobs properly.
By the way, the memos also paint Comey as a bit of a liar when compared to his just released book.
In the book, Comey writes that Trump only seemed to be concerned about the most salacious and tabloid-y bits of the Steele dossier. Yet, the memos reveal that the President didn’t have any knowledge of the other parts of the dossier, so of course, he would only be concerned about the portions that Comey told him about.
I did not know this fact that @jaketapper got Comey to reveal: When Comey briefed President-elect Trump on dossier, Comey discussed *only* the sex stuff, not other allegations (Manafort, Cohen, etc) that were also in dossier. https://t.co/YSXW8JpQnH pic.twitter.com/iAGUg7a4Vi
— Byron York (@ByronYork) April 20, 2018
The memos also prove that the President encouraged (not discouraged) Comey to investigate whether or not members of his campaign had crossed the line in their dealings with Russia. If, behind closed doors, in a private meeting, the President is encouraging the investigation to continue and even expand… why does the media keep telling us that the President has been “obstructing” the investigation?
The Comey memos don’t fit the media narrative of the last year, and so it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be reading/hearing much about them in the mainstream news coverage.
The reality is, after almost 2 years of investigating, the FBI, the DOJ, and the special investigators still have no evidence that President Trump did anything wrong, nor do they have any evidence connecting the President to Russia.
Let me remind you of something that James Comey once said, “If you’ve been investigating something for almost a year and you don’t have a general sense of where it’s likely to end up, you should be fired because you’re incompetent.” Using this standard – our intelligence and justice communities are either incompetent… or there is NO reason for them to be investigating the President or his team.
Read the Comey Memos below, H/T The Lid: