President Donald Trump broke his record-setting Twitter silence this morning to make jabs at former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump claimed in his recent social media posting that he was absolved of all accusations thrown against him so far, and said that Comey’s testimony yesterday was a “total and complete vindication.”
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication…and WOW, Comey is a leaker!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
Trump also expressed surprise at Comey leaking a memo to the press that detailed his recollections of meetings with the president.
Comey explained he had a friend help him leak the memo to help set up the possibility that a special prosecutor might be appointed, outside of the administration’s control.
“I asked [a friend to leak the memo], because I thought, that might prompt the appointment of the special counsel,” Comey said.
Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of the investigation into Russian interference into American elections last fall. Comey’s testimony was meant to shed light on whether President Trump had asked him to halt the investigation being conducted by the FBI, and whether Comey felt that he had been fired for refusing to drop the issue.
“I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted,” Comey asserted. “That is a very big deal, and not just because it involves me.”
Despite Trump’s assertions to the contrary, he is not yet fully “vindicated” because of Comey’s testimony. Many are still questioning the dubious ties members of his administration have made with Russian agents, and it’s still unclear whether his asking Comey to drop the investigation involving Michael Flynn (Trump’s former National Security Adviser who made improper assurances to Russia about lifting sanctions) amounts to obstruction of justice or not. Comey also didn’t testify whether Trump was under investigation or not, and the president still could be in a lot of trouble despite anything Comey may have said.
It’s also curious that Trump, who calls Comey a liar in his tweet, simultaneously said that he was vindicated by Comey’s statements. How it’s possible to have it both ways is something the president fails to explain.
Trump is making another substantial claim in this morning’s tweet: that Comey committed an act of perjury during his testimony. That’s a serious charge to make, and one that Trump ought to consider backing off of, especially since Comey agreed to testify under oath. Trump has not yet agreed to do so, despite a Democratic senator inviting him to do so earlier this week.