Friday's HOT MIC

Welcome to HOT MIC, PJ Media's daily liveblog. Join our editors and contributors for news updates and conversation throughout the day, and add your thoughts to the mix in our comments section at the bottom or by clicking on the comment bubbles on individual posts.  Be sure to save this link so you can find HOT MIC every day.

Whom to believe in this political battle of wits between President Trump and former FBI Director Comey?

Comey made it a particular point to harshly brand the president a "LIAR" during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday. The often fact-challenged Trump, unfortunately,  helps make that case himself when he says things that are not 100% factually accurate.

But the 2016 campaign aside, I would argue that the president's brash manner and use of imprecise language contribute to that perception more than anything else.

Comey, on the other hand, is a much different sort of animal. He seems to project a perfect Boy Scout image -- but is he?

People really need to read Sean Davis' eye-opening piece at The Federalist about Comey's Bush-era grandstanding to get a better idea of the kind of person he is.

To fully understand and appreciate Jim Comey’s approach to politics, the writings and testimony of Alberto Gonzales, who served as both White House counsel and attorney general during the events in question and is intimately aware of Comey’s history of political maneuvering, is absolutely essential.

Gonzales’s descriptions of his interactions with Comey, included in his 2016 book “True Faith And Allegiance,” are detailed and extensive. While his tone is measured, the language he uses to describe Comey’s actions in 2004 and 2007 leaves little doubt about the former top Bush official’s views on Comey’s character. Gonzales’s opinion is clearly colored by the fact that Comey cravenly used him to jumpstart his own political career by going public with surprise (and questionable) testimony that Gonzales had attempted to take advantage of a deathly ill man in order to ram through authorization of an illegal surveillance program.

Read the entire thing. In his book, Gonzales "paints a very different picture of what happened in that hospital room" and disputes many of the key details in Comey's self-serving version of events.


Oh fer cryin' out loud.

Uniformed Marine barred from walking in high school graduation ceremony.

And this report comes from America's heartland, too.

An Indiana high school student was forbidden from walking the stage to get his diploma while wearing his Marine uniform at his graduation ceremony.

Jacob Dalton Stanley graduated in December from Crown Point High School. He completed Marine boot camp on Friday, and flew home to attend his senior class' graduation ceremony. During practice, Principal Chip Pettit reportedly told Stanley that he was not allowed to wear his uniform at the weekend graduation. Stanley decided to wear his dress blues anyway.

Meanwhile, an early graduate and Marine from the nearby Hobart High School was encouraged to wear her uniform for graduation. Hobart schools superintendent Peggy Buffington told the Times of Northwest Indiana: “This year was especially nice, because Ana Kritikos graduated midterm and landed just in time for the graduation ceremony.”

We're supposed to be honoring these fine young adults, not humiliating them.

PJ Media readers should recognize Paul "Luke" Kuhn, the nasty antifa creature who was arrested after Project Veritas caught him and other Disrupt J20 organizers plotting to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power ahead of President Trump's inauguration. Kuhn was caught on tape plotting to shut down the "Deploraball" by using butyric acid.

"The message has to be, we do not recognize the city government either," Kuhn said in the secretly recorded video. "If you try to close us down we will look for your house, we will burn it. We will physically fight the police if they try to steal one of our places. We will go to war and you will lose."

Colin Dunn and Kuhn pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit assault, James O'Keefe wrote on his Facebook page on March 2. According to Project Veritas, the two did not receive jail time but were required to do 48 hours of community service and remain on good behavior for a period of six months.

Well, good ol' Luke has surfaced again and he does not appear to be on the best of behavior: "Convicted Disrupt J20 Organizer Still Willing to do 'Whatever it takes' to Stop Trump Agenda."

I hardly know the man.

In a press conference today, President Donald Trump accused former FBI Director James Comey of lying under oath. He said he would never ask Comey to pledge loyalty.

I hardly know the man. I'm not going to ask you to pledge allegiance. Who would do that? Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath.

CNBC's Jacob Pramuk has more.

President Donald Trump on Friday forcefully accused former FBI Director James Comey of lying under oath in a series of defiant responses.

The president said he would "be glad" to state his case to Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing a broad investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Trump abruptly fired Comey last month as he oversaw that FBI investigation, prompting questions about whether he tried to impede the probe.

"Yesterday showed no collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker," Trump said of Comey at a White House press conference, saying he wants to "get back to running our great country."

This keeps coming up, so --

Yes "Reality Winner" really is her legal name.

'He always wanted to have a 'Real Winner' so he named her Reality Leigh Winner. It's just a beautiful name. The plan was to call her Leigh because Reality is kind of a strange name but everyone who knew her just loved the name Reality and it stuck with her. I forget sometimes that she has ever been called Leigh – she's always been Reality.'

Apparently "Sara" -- which she used for a while -- is the weird name she decided was better than her given name in her teens.

Admit it: You'd totally binge-watch.

Oh, look. The guy that CNN said a few days ago was not an employee has been fired:

Twitter sucks, but not as much as the New York Times.

As Oscar Wilde said: anyone who can read of the death of Little Nell without laughing has a heart of stone:

Theresa May has said sorry to the Tory MPs and ministers who lost their seats as a result of her decision to call a snap general election which cost the Conservatives their majority. A disastrous set of election results have left Mrs May clinging onto power with the Prime Minister forced to pursue a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to stay in Downing Street.

She had been hoping to boost her mandate for Brexit negotiations but the Tories actually lost seats and fell below the 326 needed to form a majority government. She has set out her intention to form a minority government which will be entirely reliant on the DUP's 10 MPs to pass its legislation in parliament.

Mrs May's decision to remain in post despite her failure to deliver the resounding Tory victory she had been aiming for has prompted widespread condemnation, with opposition leaders including Jeremy Corbyn calling on her to resign.

I'm with Corbyn on this one. As I tweeted last night:

And another, highly unpopular, observation:

Let me add: or childless men, for that matter. The fact is that none of the current European leaders has so much as a grandchild among them. Some of them are single, some gay, some married to their mothers. But none of them has a stake in the future.

Great news: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach yesterday announced that he is running for governor of the state of Kansas.

Echoing President Trump, Kobach declared that it’s time to “drain the swamp” in Topeka. The local media, which has long had it in for Kobach, is already gunning for the rising GOP star.

The Kansas City Star (or "Red Star," as Kobach and many other locals call it) showed so much bias in its first article about Kobach's candidacy that the article could be used as a "case study in journalism school," Jack Cashill wrote at the Kansas City-based Sentinel.

Kobach has championed “some of the strictest voting laws in the nation.” He is “the architect of controversial election and immigration laws.” He “advised President Donald Trump (a bad thing at 18th & Grand).

Kobach has made claims of widespread voter fraud “that election experts say are overblown.” The ACLU says his new law “makes it harder for rightful voters to participate in elections.” An ACLU guy called Kobach the “king of voter suppression.”

Kobach has associated “with groups considered extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Kobach has repeatedly rejected accusations of racial bias.” He helped craft an Arizona law “that critics say encouraged racial profiling.” On the Sentinel smear-o-meter, this article rates a 9.8 out of ten. The Star failed only to ask Kobach when was the last time he beat his wife.

Oh yeah, and by the way, Kobach “holds degrees from Harvard and Yale, worked in the U.S. Department of Justice under former Attorney General John Ashcroft in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack”–Oxford too by the way, typical white nationalist credentials.

This initial article on Kobach’s candidacy is so perversely partisan, in fact, that it may one day be used as a case study in journalism school. To quote the ACLU is bad enough. To quote the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) crosses the line from journalism into pure race baiting propaganda.

On the other hand, whoever ends up being the Dem candidate can expect to receive nothing but friendly, fawning coverage from the odious Red Star.