more melodrama

Deputy AG Threatens To Resign Over Comey Termination: Report
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 11 2017

Two days after Trump’s termination of James Comey, more details about the circumstances of Comey’s departure continue to emerge and the most dramatic highlight from this morning’s news wrap comes from the WaPo, which reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the man who was instrumental in arranging Comey’s termination, may not stay at the DoJ much longer. Recall that on Tuesday afternoon the White House released a memo written by the Deputy AG, which contained Rosenstein’s recommendation to sack Comey citing the FBI director’s handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server as a reason for Comey’s dismissal. However, critics say the 52-year-old Harvard graduate, with a reputation as straight-shooting and non-partisan, has been sucked into providing cover for Trump to push Comey out. The details from WaPo are as follows:

Trump told VP Pence and several senior aides, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon and Donald McGahn among others, that he was ready to move on Comey. First, though, he wanted to talk with Sessions and Rosenstein, to whom Comey reported directly. Trump summoned the two of them to the White House for a meeting, according to a person close to the White House. The president already had decided to fire Comey, according to this person, but in the meeting, several White House boxtops said Trump gave Sessions and Rosenstein a directive: to explain in writing the case against Comey. The pair quickly fulfilled the boss’s orders, and the next day Trump fired Comey.

Recall that Rosenstein was overseeing the FBI’s probe into election interference because Sessions had recused himself from it after a row over contacts with Ambassador Kislyak of Russia. And now as a result of the “alleged scapegoating,” Rosenstein has “threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation.” With the WaPo once again quoting an unnamed person “close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter” one should as usual take this with a grain of salt. So did Trump ask Rosenstein specifically to investigate Comey’s conduct? When Sean Spicer was asked, he initially said “it was all him,” meaning Rosenstein, but then corrected himself, saying:

I guess I shouldn’t say that…. No-one from the White House. That was a DoJ decision.

The deputy attorney general must now decide what to do about growing demands from Demagogs, and an unusually direct approach from the NYT editorial board, to appoint an independent special prosecutor to investigate the Russia allegations. Separately, Reuters reports that the anger behind Trump’s firing of Comey on Tuesday had been building for months, but a turning point came when Comey refused to preview his planned testimony to the Senate panel for top Trump aides, White House boxtops said.

Trump, Sessions and Rosenstein had wanted a heads-up from Comey about what he would say at a May 3 hearing about his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. When Comey refused, Trump and his aides considered that an act of insubordination and it was one of the catalysts to Trump’s decision this week to fire the FBI director, the officials said. One official said: “It gave the impression that he was no longer capable of carrying out his duties.” Previews of congressional testimony to superiors are generally considered courteous.

So far Trump has shrugged off the political firestorm he created with Comey’s dismissal. He met Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office on Wednesday. Asked by reporters why he fired Comey, Trump said:

He wasn’t doing a good job, very simply. He wasn’t doing a good job.

However, judging by the media’s reaction, which realized it has struck a goldmine in terms of secondary narratives, and Trump’s growing frustration at the Demagogs’ reaction, this story is only just getting started. For a direct indicator of Trump’s general level of anxiety, just keep an eye on his Twitter feed. Perhaps seeking to douse the firestorm that erupted with Comey’s termination, and to ease tensions with FBI employees, all of whom are now potential sources of embarrassing information leaked to the WaPo and NYT, Reuters also reports that Trump is expected to visit FBI HQ in the next few days, a White House spox said on Thursday. White House spox Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in an interview on CBS News, said Trump would “very likely” make the trip to talk to agents.  The NYT, citing an unnamed boxtop, earlier reported Trump was considering visiting the FBI’s Washington headquarters on Friday.

“I Was Going To Fire Him Anyway” Trump Slams “Showboat, Grandstander” Comey
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, May 11 2017

President Trump told NBC News’ Lester Holt during an interview (below):

Look, he (Comey) is a a showboat! He’s a grand-stander! The FBI has been in turmoil! You know that! I know that! Everybody knows that! You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil! Less than a year ago! It hasn’t recovered from that!

Which is odd, because Andrew McCabe just denied any turmoil in the FBI…

But in what was the biggest surprise of the interview, Trump then added that he was going to fire Comey “regardless” of what Session & Rosenstein recommended, contradicting what the White House said Wednesday. With today’s interview, Trump has thus blown the prior narrative apart, as well as whatever “third person” cover he had for terminating Comey, and immediately giving an opening for his opponents to attack him on motive, something which Clinton’s former press secretary Brian Fallon immediately did on Twitter:

Trump also said he had dinner with Comey “because he wanted to stay on,” during which Trump told Comey he would consider keeping him on but said “I’ll see what happens.” Trump said, “I think he asked for dinner.” Trump then asked Comey during the dinner and on two phone calls (one made by Trump, one made by Comey) whether he was under investigation, and Comey said he was not. Trump said:

We had a very nice dinner and at that time he told me you’re not under investigation. (In a subsequent phone call) I actually asked him. He said, ‘you are not under investigation.” I already knew I wasn’t under investigation. When you’re under investigation you’re given all sorts of documents.

2 Comments

  1. Posted May 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Another way to look at the Comey firing is that it will definitely get off the news cycle those stories about the Kushner Crime family selling visas to wealthy Chinese for 500K. Just like that Syrian chemical FF got off the news cycle the stories about Jared going to Iraq to ‘appraise’ the situation.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted May 11, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    This article has five more topics which are being distracted from!

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