The Trump camp is trying to spin the firing of FBI Director James Comey as something that should be unobjectionable to everyone because Democrats have been critical of the way Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton.
What that rationale completely overlooks is that Trump has a massive conflict of interest — his campaign is currently under FBI investigation for possible collusion with Russia.
That investigation was confirmed by Comey less than two months ago. One of the main lines of defense Trump used to fend off accusations of collusion fell apart during a Senate hearing on Monday. Given the circumstances, the firing of Comey certainly appears to be an attempt to kneecap ongoing investigations.
Enter Kellyanne Conway, the White House adviser of “alternative facts” fame. During a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, Conway managed to look into the camera and claim with a straight face that Trump isn’t under under FBI investigation after all.
Conway repeatedly referred back to a part of the letter Trump sent to Comey where Trump writes, “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.” (Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself from any Trump-Russia investigations after it was revealed he lied about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.)
“Let me repeat that the president has been told by the FBI director that he is not under FBI investigation, that is right in the president’s letter,” Conway said.
Cooper, incredulous, replied with, “This White House is under investigation, the people around the president are around investigation — you would agree with that, yes?
“No I don’t, I know that some are obsessed with the word Russia — the president is not under investigation, I’m around the president, I’m not under investigation,” Conway said. “I can name many people in that same situation.”
Meanwhile, on Fox News, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made a case that it’s time for the country to “move on” from the Russia investigation.
As Conway appeared on Cooper’s show, CNN broke news that “federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year’s election, according to people familiar with the matter.”
“CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey,” the report continues. “The subpoenas represent the first sign of a significant escalation of activity in the FBI’s broader investigation begun last July into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.”