Monday, April 16, 2018

James Comey ABC Interview

My thoughts as I watched the interview with George Stephanopoulos:

* Mafia. Loyalty to the family first. Period. You don't snitch, instead go to jail. This is indeed Trump's entire way of life and thinking. But, whereas the mafia can buy off & influence high-placed people, Trump can "only" pardon.

* Comey said that with that now (in)famous walk-across-the-room encounter with Trump, it was all about Trump "establishing dominance" and making him part of "the family."

* George should have stated that the Steele dossier was initially financed by the GOP, an often not-mentioned crucial fact. 

* Look, when all is said and done, Hillary was just really really stupid regarding her personal emails. To decide to use a personal server, while knowing you were going to run for president in 2016, was just dumb. In the end, to the extent the emails hurt her, it was all her fault. And if she was paranoid (why?), was it worth the risk of an eventual hugely distracting perceived scandal? (which is what happened)

* True point by Comey, that the reason he felt more of an obligation to disclosing Hillary email developments vs. Russian election meddling was because the Hillary "scandal" was fully public, whereas the Russian election was not. It's easy to look back now and blur the two, as if they were equally known then, but was not the case. Therefore if he chose to not comment on the Hillary email controversy he'd potentially be viewed as favoring her, and yet if he commented on, at the time, hazy Russian meddling, he'd be viewed as disfavoring Trump.

* Regarding Obama's inauguration crowd size vs. Trump's, Comey said this was empirical fact, no dispute. And from that he believed Trump was just a liar. But Comey didn't go far enough, he pulled back on the reigns. All politicians shade the truth or lie. But Trump is beyond that, instead an outright pathological psychopath re lying. In fact, many if not most politicians can't even relate to Trump's "talent" for lying!!

* Honest loyalty?? George is right, he said Trump likely took that as "we have a deal." If there's one thing Comey clearly came off as during this interview it's he's very naive. He may be different within the FBI, but this interview had him looking like Opie in the Andy Griffith show. Too much "aw shucks" and not enough healthy cynicism. Even if he was just trying to be polite or get through an awkward dinner, he NEVER should've agreed to honest loyalty. Did he forget that he headed FBI? And he already knew "the family" was all about loyalty! it appears he simply didn't have the guts, as he admitted. A very honest admission, but still sad. I ask, didn't he need such guts in the FBI on a daily basis given the constant tough decisions? Is Comey honest but spineless?

* George says, re Trump asking Comey to let Flynn off the hook, shouldn't Comey have said more?! Comey says maybe -- maybe?!! Another too polite moment? Gutless? Comey's way of escaping awkward moments?? Look, that's OK if you're a very proper and polite host of a dinner party and not head of the FBI! We of course want the FBI head to be honest and upstanding, but also confidently forthright and able to speak out forcefully at all times. So when does Comey finally get that gumption?  Oct 28, 2016, the Hillary email announcement. Ugh.

* Watching this interview, the video backdrops, it occurred to me: why is the FBI building still named after J. Edgar Hoover?? Given all we now know about Hoover, this shouldn't be.

* We're reminded that the day after the Comey firing, Trump has Russians in the Oval Office. OMG, just the optics!!! But it's Trump showing us who are his true friends. Comey reminds in this interview that no other Americans were in room. Plant surveillance bugs everywhere!

* When Trump tweets he hopes there's no tapes, Comey (correctly) is hoping for tapes. Innocent people who tell the truth want tapes! Compare that to Trump's behavior regarding Mueller, where it's all about shutting it down and fear of discovery. Oh yeah, that screams "innocent."

* Trump clearly obstructed justice as per the Lester Holt interview, plain as day. How does Trump's base not see this? Unless they're unaware because they only watch Fox News (which is completely possible).

* Where is Obama?? His last tweet was March 25th, about Loyola-Chicago in NCAA tourney. Really? No comment about Comey, or Trump, or Syria, or.... I've been asking this question for months on Twitter, where is Obama? Given an atypical POTUS with Trump, to say the least, I would think Obama would sh*t-can the obligatory respectfulness of a prior POTUS and instead speak out. But no....

* If Trump fired Mueller, Comey says it would be a shame if Trump were impeached, that instead the voting public should decide in 2020. WTF? 

* The interview concludes with Comey stating the obvious: Trump is unfit to be president, due to a lack of morality. But c'mon, there are multiple reasons why he's unfit, we can debate the order, but key point is it's a list. Plural. But then Comey says don't impeach? That it would "short circuit" the process? 
But doing so could save lives! And if it's agreed Trump's unfit to be POTUS, get him out now!! We have a REPRESENTATIVE democracy, the people we voted in need to back the Constitution for us today, not in 2020!! More proof that Comey can be very dense. Comey is opting for that McConnell chicanery re Garland, wait till next election -- no, do it now!

* Comey concludes with, "This president does not reflect values of this country. " True dat! But unfortunately Trump's values DO reflect the values of Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, the alt right and the too-many angry Americans who have been brainwashed into believing Trump's BS.