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Trump flails at Comey in litany of distorted, contradictory tweets

He sees the narrative he wants to see, even if it doesn't follow from the facts.

CREDIT: Mike Theiler - Pool/Getty Images
CREDIT: Mike Theiler - Pool/Getty Images

In a series of tweets, President Trump lashed out at former FBI director James Comey, attempting to distort details from Comey’s new book to suit his narrative. The tweets contradict themselves in regards to whether Comey is believable and misinterpret what has been released so far.

The first tweet Sunday morning suggested that Comey’s announcement days before the election that the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails was being reopened was a veiled attempt to get a job with Clinton.

But Comey’s announcement most likely helped Clinton lose the election, as even Clinton herself believes. Comey does say in his book and his upcoming interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he believed she would win and that impacted his decision to release his letter about the investigation.

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He was concerned, however, that the revelation would make her an “illegitimate president” if it was withheld, so he thought it needed to come to light before the election. Trump’s belief that Comey must be politically biased in Clinton’s favor led to his own bizarre conclusion that this action would somehow endear Comey to her administration.

Trump also insisted that Comey committed numerous crimes and is deserving of jail.

These hollow accusations are ironic, since Trump seemingly admitted just this week to obstruction of justice and then pardoned Scooter Libby, who had been  convicted of obstruction of justice. More importantly, he candidly explained nearly a year ago that he fired Comey because of his role in the Russia investigation into the Trump campaign, which many experts agreed constituted obstruction of justice.

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In another tweet, Trump suddenly argued that Comey did have some degree of credibility when he threw former attorney general Loretta Lynch “under the bus” — seemingly parroting the New York Post headline about the detail from the book.

It’s true that Comey does suggest in the book that Lynch played some role in his decision to make statements about the Clinton email investigation, including a cryptic “development still unknown to the American public to this day.” But Comey explicitly says he didn’t think Lynch interfered with the investigation and he downplayed the significance of her tarmac conversation with President Bill Clinton. It seems Trump read the headline and drew his own conclusion, ignoring the details of the reporting.

In the following tweet, Trump reverted back to calling Comey a liar, once again rejecting all his claims that Trump asked him for loyalty, as Comey first testified last summer.

This seems to echo efforts by the administration and its surrogates to make the most of the Comey book. This was particularly evident in an interview the Republican National Committee’s Kayleigh McEnany gave on Friday, in which she claimed Comey was a liar but also argued that his book exonerates Trump.

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After a tangentially related tweet about attorney-client privilege, referencing the FBI’s raid on his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump continued his rant against Comey by calling him “slippery,” “not smart!”, and “the WORST FBI Director in history, by far!”

Sunday morning’s tweets follow a White House press briefing Friday in which Sarah Huckabee Sanders lambasted Comey as a “liar and a leaker.” She even said, “One of the president’s great achievements will go down as firing James Comey.” If, as Trump admitted a year ago, he fired Comey to protect himself from the Russia investigation and that’s found to be obstruction of justice, it will certainly be one of most memorable actions he took as president.