If we all saw the world the way President Donald Trump sees it, the United States would be a gold and white castle on a golf course, and we'd be worshipping the man as a king next to God.
If we all saw former FBI Director James Comey's testimony the way Trump did, we might agree with his tweet claiming "total and complete vindication." Except this isn't Trump's reality, not yet anyway.
Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017
In a mere 140 characters, Trump manages to insert such a bizarre and undignified falsehood into the public narrative that it is almost (but not quite) impressive. Trump simultaneously manages to call Comey a liar while claiming that he was proven innocent by that alleged liar. That's a mess in itself to unpack sense from, but wait, there's more.
To believe that Comey did indeed lie, we would "conclude not only that Comey perjured himself on Thursday but that the former director is a liar of exceptional premeditation and forethought," wrote Lawrence Douglas for The Guardian. It falls in with that line of thinking then that we must also consider Comey treasonous and that he took copious, slanderous memos with the ultimate goal of dismantling the president from power.
Comey has a sketchy track record to be sure, but it doesn't hold a candle to Trump's, so the president might want to be careful about throwing stones in glass houses. Furthermore, when pressed about the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, The Washington Post notes that Comey did everything but directly accuse Trump of obstruction of justice. Given the testimony and surrounding circumstances thus far, this is much more believable than the idea that an FBI director was out to thwart the American government from the top down.
"It's my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation," Comey told the Senate Investigative Committee point-blank. "I was fired in some way to change, or the endeavor was to change, the way the Russia investigation was being conducted."
Comey also said the White House lied about him and his agency "plain and simple," which casts further doubt on whatever spin the Trump administration publicly takes on the testimony. Not sure how that is "total and complete vindication" unless we believe in Trump's alternate reality of alternative facts.
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