After the reports of the uncomfortable, private conversations between Trump and former FBI Director James Comey were made public, Trump was not a happy camper.
Comey had written in personal memos about those meetings that Trump, at one point, had asked for “loyalty,” and in an Oval Office meeting, after having dismissed his aides, including senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (both who seemed to pause, as if unsure leaving was the right thing to do, in that moment), Trump stated that he hoped Comey could see his way to dropping the investigation surrounding ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Comey later testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump did not ask him, directly, to stop the investigation. He simply said he “hoped” Comey could let Flynn go.
Flynn was fired from his position as national security adviser only three weeks into the job, after it was discovered he failed to disclose contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak. He also misled Vice President Pence about those contacts.
After news of Comey’s memos was revealed, President Trump took to his favorite venue – Twitter – and said that Comey had better hope there were no tapes of their conversations, before he started leaking to the press.
He has a way of stepping on his own feet.
Many took that to mean that there were. In fact, during Comey’s June 8 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, he was asked if he had knowledge of any such tapes.
Comey’s response was: “Lordy, I hope there are tapes!”
Immediately following Comey’s testimony, the House Intelligence Committee gave the White House a deadline of June 23, 2017 to turn over any recordings Trump may have had.
Trump responded to the demands by saying during a Rose Garden press conference that he would reveal whether there were tapes or not in the very near future.
With the deadline fast approaching and nowhere to turn, Trump was back on Twitter to come clean.
So, in other words, more bluster? To be fair, Trump never said there were tapes, but only hinted, solely for the sake of riling Comey and the media.
President Trump is doing himself no favors by continuously goading the press, and those who are legitimately trying to work through an issue of a hostile foreign government threatening the integrity of our voting system.
Does he want this all to go away?
Many of us are fatigued by the constant scandal, but maintaining our republic was never going to be a trouble-free process.
To quote Patrick Henry: The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
How soon we forget.