News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: America's Comey-Rorschach Test, Tories Lose and Much, Much More

Former FBI Director James Comey (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Happy Post-Comey day!

Here’s what is on the President’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Donald J. Trump will receive his daily intelligence briefing.
  • Later in the morning, the President will depart the White House to attend the Roads, Rails, and Regulatory Relief Roundtable and give remarks at the Department of Transportation.
  • In the afternoon, the President will meet with the President of Romania and will hold a joint press conference.
  • Later in the afternoon, the President will depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews, en route to Bedminster, New Jersey.

America’s Rorschach test

Yesterday, many Americans were fixated on the Senate testimony of former FBI Director James Comey, or what I call the national Rorschach test. Whatever you took away from testimony depended on how you were predisposed. Here’s a summary of the notable revelations:

  1. Comey thought Trump was a liar and memorialized their conversations.
  2. Comey said Trump lied about why Comey was fired.
  3. He confirmed Loretta Lynch wanted him to call the Clinton investigation a “matter” to downplay it. (No diary entry on this, however…).
  4. He was moved to speak about the Clinton investigation because of the Bill Clinton/Loretta Lynch grandchildren-and-golf summit on an Arizona tarmac.
  5. Trump was not under investigation and was thrice told by Comey he was not under investigation for collusion with Russia.
  6. The New York Times and other media outlets reporting on the Russia investigation are very often wrong.
  7. Comey leaked his own memo to the media, claiming it was in response to Trump’s tweet. The timing doesn’t match up on this.
  8. Something was wrong with John McCain.

Comey recounted his thoughts and his interpretations of his interactions with Trump, which he felt were inappropriate. At no time did Comey tell Trump his actions were inappropriate and at no time did he go to the White House counsel or anyone at all to tell them Trump was acting inappropriately and needed to be told how to treat the FBI. Trump isn’t a lawyer and is not a politician and most likely was talking to Comey like he was some guy on his staff. I’m not excusing this, I’m just pointing out that Comey could have nipped this in the bud or tried to but was cowardly, as he admitted.

It was clear from Comey’s testimony that Trump was frustrated by the smears, innuendos, and leaks and was looking to get this “cloud of suspicion” (generated by the media, Democrat, and partisans leaks) out from over him. Comey refused to do that. Senator Rubio made a great point during the hearing.

“We keep talking about this cloud, you perceive the cloud to be the Russia investigation in general, but the specific ask [from Trump] was that you would tell the American people what you had already told him, what you had already told the leaders of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, that he was not personally under investigation,” Rubio asked.

“Yes sir,” Comey replied.

Rubio, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, questioned that decision from Comey.

“This investigation is full of leaks left and right,” Rubio said. “We’ve learned more from the newspapers sometimes than we do from our open hearings for sure. You ever wonder why in this Russia investigation the only thing that’s never been leaked is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation?”

The Democrats are focusing on Trump’s purported obstruction of justice—the obstruction being that he told Comey he “hoped” General Flynn would be cleared. I would think it’s not, because if Loretta Lynch wanted Comey to say the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s home-brewed email server was simply a “matter” and then Comey subsequently went public to make a very compelling case why Clinton should be prosecuted but concluded by absolving her and that is not obstruction, then Trump’s “hope” for Flynn certainly isn’t.

Comey leaking to the media shows he is a savvy political operator. He claimed that he wanted to get his own story out because Trump mentioned there were “tapes” of their conversation, but if there were tapes, the tapes would relay the actual conversation, not just one side. Comey’s leaking brings its own set of problems.

I’m sure much more will be discussed in the coming days and probably on the Sunday shows.

Tories lose the majority in UK election

Following the election yesterday, the Tories lost control of the Parliament and now no one party has enough representation to hold authority in the House of Commons. Theresa May will not step down, despite pressure, but will seek support of other smaller parties to form a coalition.

May’s gamble to call an early election appeared to have backfired and now she will have to seek the support of another party or group of parties to command a majority in the House of Commons. May has no intention of resigning as prime minister, despite calls from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to do so, according to Sky News.

The Conservatives held 330 seats in Parliament heading into Thursday’s general election. But by early Friday, the party only garnered 318 seats. The party would have needed 326 seats to hold a majority.

The Labour Party gained 29 seats in the general election, totaling 261.

“This country needs a period of stability,” May told supporters after she was re-elected to her own seat in the House of Commons on Thursday. “If the Conservative Party has won the most seats, it will be incumbent on us to deliver this period of stability.”


Truck speeds into pedestrians in D.C.; terrorism not ruled out

P.J. Media’s Pat Poole covers the story here.

Fox5 DC reports:

Authorities say two people have been arrested after two D.C. police officers and a District Department of Transportation employee were struck by a pickup truck Thursday night in Adams Morgan.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham says just before 9 p.m., a white pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed hit two bicycle patrol officers on duty and a traffic control aide on 18th Street in Northwest D.C.

Newsham said terrorism cannot be ruled out. “We have to look at that very closely. We do not have a motive at this time.”

Poole reports the FBI JTTF was on the scene.


Other morsels:

Gay Trump supporter not allowed at Pride event

Army, Marines want 2-year delay on accepting transgender recruits

Oakland City Council refuses to ban flavored tobacco, e-cig juice

NSA leaker wanted to burn down the White House

Comey’s leaker buddy now in hiding

That’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!