1. The Takeaway: Trump Fired Comey After He Couldn't Secure Comey's Loyalty On The Russia InvestigationTrump had said as much both to NBC and Russia--but hearing it from Comey gave it more power. The money-shot was Comey saying over and over that Trump's "suggestion" that Comey drop the Flynn investigation felt like a "directive" to drop it. Not a joke. Not an ephemeral hope--a directive from his boss.
There is good reason to think this is the case--as Comey himself said:
- Trump told everyone else to leave the room. He noted that as a prosecutor that would raise huge flags.
- Trump repeatedly told Comey he needed loyalty. He reminded Comey "we had a thing"--the idea that Trump had done 'good things' for Comey by keeping him onboard?
- Comey stated, several times, that he did not believe the official excuse for his firing--but rather what Trump himself had said. Again, we knew this--but hearing it directly from Comey gave it extra weight.
2. Trump's Not Under Investigation
Trump himself and his supporters were thrilled to hear that yes, Comey had told Trump he was not a target of the investigation on three occasions. They are also happy that: (a) Comey admitted to leaking the news about the memo to news agencies--a leak which created the special counselor appointment as it was, apparently intended to (that is: Comey is good at political chess). (b) News that Hillary wanted the FBI's criminal investigation referred to as a "matter"--the kind of word-spinning we've learned to expect from Hillary-world (and, it turns out, Trump-world's surrogates).
This was all good news for Trump, right?
Kinda. Apparently it mollified him and his team felt it gave them ammunition to hit back with in the news-cycle but the truth is that none of this means what the Trump-narrative thinks it means:
- Trump is not a direct target of the investigation--just many members of his team. This is like saying Nixon wasn't a target of the Watergate investigation--just the guys who did the break-in. If it's established that Flynn, Manafort, or, especially, Jared was doing something dodgy with the Russians that will lead to the familiar sounding "What did the president know--and when did he know it question." In other words, Trump doesn't have to be a target of the investigation now--if there was dirty dealing, it'll get there.
- Comey leaking the memo isn't the same kind of leaking that Team Trump is upset about. The memo was specifically constructed to be leakable. It wasn't classified (Comey testified that directly during the questioning). In other words, it's another political chess-move that paid off.
- Hillary made it all the way through her investigations without charges being raised. If Trump makes it to the same outcome, then he'll have cause to celebrate--but he and his organization will likely be remembered in the same fashion.
A Final Note
An Omni-Friend who is a student of media bias assures The Omnivore that when the mainstream liberal press wants to hide an element of the story--but still report it for plausible deniability reasons--they nefariously stick it in the second to last paragraph since nobody looks there. In the spirit of this belief, The Omnivore will both raise a glass of imaginary beer and quote the second to last paragraph of the paragon of the lugenpresse, the New York Times:
“I can’t believe they are worried about public opinion on a day like this, when Comey set so many perjury traps for them,” said Jennifer Palmieri, a veteran Democratic operative who served as Mrs. Clinton’s communications director during the 2016 campaign.And the last paragraph:
“Communications and news cycles don’t matter — they don’t know what is going to hit them,” added Ms. Palmieri, who served in the White House during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. “They are still telling the president what he wants to hear, and that’s extraordinarily dangerous.”