The Awful Truth

Number 2 of a series

Was there ever a better time to be a liberal? Not in my memory. OK, maybe during the Watergate flap. Nothing recent. For this joy we have none other to thank but current President Donald J. Trump. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Where to  start. How about the White House press office, which attempts, often in vain, to explain away an accumulating mess. From CNN:

When White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held her first press conference last week, journalists in attendance or watching back in the office gave her relatively good reviews. She was calmer and more collected than her boss Sean Spicer, they said, and certainly less condescending.

But on Thursday, as she became the face of the White House’s bungled, contradictory account of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, Sanders proved to be just as unreliable and obfuscatory in the briefing room as Spicer.

Nobody enjoys a fumbling Donald Trump administration as much as political liberals, sitting much on the sidelines after last year’s disastrous election outcome. Trump’s attempts to justify his dismissal of political liability James Comey have electrified his opposition. CNN again, concerning press secretary Sanders:

On Wednesday, during a briefing for which she once again received relatively high marks from observers, Sanders was asked if the president had decided to fire Comey before receiving a recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that she do so. “No,” she replied.

On Thursday, Trump gave an interview to NBC News in which he said he would have fired Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s recommendation.

Yet during Thursday’s White House press briefing, after the relevant parts of the interview had been released, Sanders repeatedly dismissed the idea that there were inconsistencies in the White House’s timeline leading up to Comey’s termination. “Our story is consistent,” she told reporters.

Sanders also said Wednesday and Thursday that she had personally spoken to “countless” FBI officials who were frustrated with Comey’s leadership. But acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said at a Senate committee hearing Thursday that statement “is not accurate. I can tell you also that Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.”

So, which is it? Trump fired FBI Director James Comey as a result of a bad review from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Later President Trump unraveled that explanation by stating that he had planned to  fire Comey all along, no matter what the outcome of Rosenstein’s report. From all appearances, Trump attempted to lay off the blame for an unpopular move on the second-in-command at the Justice Department, and Mr. Rosenstein is having no part of it.

Trump had said he acted based on the recommendations of Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

But as Rosenstein was thrust into the spotlight shortly after news of Comey’s dismissal broke, he was taken aback and even threatened to resign, according to an unnamed person close to the White House who was cited by The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Trump’s efforts to pump up his press staff are having the opposite effect. His specialty appears to be poor word choice:

 4:59 AM – 12 May 2017
 5:07 AM – 12 May 2017

“For the sake of accuracy.” What a concept! How about, “Get it right the first time?”

A short message from President Trump early this morning is interpreted by some as a veiled threat against James Comey:

 5:26 AM – 12 May 2017

Breaking news: James Comey, private citizen and no longer required to demonstrate any loyalty, has been invited to testify before Congress. At least two grand juries are empaneled on  related matters, and I am guessing Comey will appear before one or both.

Does anybody besides me recall the days of J. Edgar Hoover, original and Director for life of the FBI? From its founding in 1935 until  his death just days before the Watergate break-in in 1972, his power grew. The FBI had information on America’s power brokers, and presidents trembled when he walked. The FBI under Hoover’s command, wrecked the lives of people who came down on the wrong side of Hoover’s thinking. Now a former director, with knowledge in his head that can wreak havoc for the Trump administration, is being slandered by the one most vulnerable. We will enjoy seeing hos this shakes out.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

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