There is never a case where someone gives an account of a meeting or discussion with Trump that reflects negatively on him that Trump doesn’t give a completely opposite account of it. Essentially, he constantly is calling everyone else a liar. And even if you know he always does it, it still puts you in the position of playing, “Who you gonna believe: it’s he said, she said”. The actual truth is no longer clear. It’s now a question of belief.
One week after Trump became president, he summoned James Comey to a private dinner with him. After some small talk, Trump asked Comey if he would “pledge his loyalty to him”. Wow. Is this something any other president, even Nixon, would ever do? A führer, maybe, but not a president. The F.B.I., as everyone knows, is supposed to be independent and fair, and take pride in that. In fact, if anyone else was asking, you’d be tempted to regard it as a trick question, meant to test your integrity.
According to the NYT, Comey “declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others that he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.” They went back and forth on this point with Trump finally extracting a pledge of “honest loyalty”.
Trump, as always, has a different account of the dinner. Interviewed on NBC yesterday, he said Comey requested the dinner and the subject of loyalty never came up. Comey’s apparently a liar. The NYT article goes on,
Comey described details of his refusal to pledge his loyalty to Mr. Trump to several people close to him on the condition that they not discuss it publicly while he was F.B.I. director. But now that Mr. Comey has been fired, they felt free to discuss it on the condition of anonymity.
Mr. Comey’s associates said that the new president requested the dinner he described, and said that he was wary about attending because he did not want to appear too chummy with Mr. Trump, especially amid the Russia investigation. But Mr. Comey went because he did not believe he could turn down a meeting with the new president.
Who you gonna believe?
Anyway, none of it matters. With Trump, it never does. Consider:
1. By next week it will all be forgotten, replaced in the “news” by stories about the selection of the new F.B.I. director, who, by the way, will certainly be loyal to Trump. Or by some other craziness, maybe the new investigation into voter fraud, led by a proponent of Voter ID laws. Or more likely by something we just can’t see coming right now. Your assignment: come back here in a week and add a comment about what it turned out to be!
2. Trump’s supporters out there in Trumpland DO NOT CARE. Last night, amidst all the Comey coverage, tons of Trump voters in state after state were interviewed about Comey and the Russia investigation. They asked the question, “If it turns out that the President colluded with the Russians during the campaign, does it change your view of him?” Guess what they all answered? Every one of them.
These are the people that Republican Congressmen have to please in order to keep their jobs, and if these people don’t care, Congress doesn’t care. If Congress doesn’t care, the “media” is howling in the hurricane, and it’s all further evidence that they are the enemy of the American people.