The White House Says Comey Committed "Atrocities"

This is a real thing that happened at the White House press briefing, where Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was filling in for Sean Spicer (who was presumably lost in a hedge):

REPORTER: You said that [Comey] made a lot of missteps and mistakes; back at the end of October, this president was applauding the FBI Director when he reopened the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. So he seemed quite happy with him at that point. What changed?

SANDERS: Well, I think the president's position. One, he was a candidate for president, not the president. Those are two very different things. Once you take over leading the Department of Justice, that's very different than being a candidate in a campaign. As you guys all know, there's a very clear distinction between those two things.

I think also having a letter like the one that he received [from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein] and having that conversation that outlined the basic, uh, just, atrocities in circumventing the chain of command in the Department of Justice.

Any person of legal mind and authority knows what a big deal that is, particularly in the Department of Justice, particularly for somebody like the Deputy Attorney General, who has been part of the Justice Department for thirty years and is such a respected person. When he saw that, he had to speak up on that action, and I think that was the final catalyst.
Whew, okay. So, first of all, there's this:

Trump also insisted that Michael Flynn was treated unfairly by the media. He went out of his way to defend a man he was obliged to begrudgingly fire because of that man's lies and possible treason, but now the White House spokesperson accuses Comey of having committed "atrocities," referring to the same actions that Trump praised.

If Comey committed any atrocity, it was helping elect Trump. And that is certainly not what the White House means.

Secondly, Sanders doubled-down on the White House party line that Rosenstein's report was the final straw for Trump, but elides the inconvenient fact that Rosenstein did not explicitly recommend firing Comey in his report.

That was Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recommendation, based on Rosenstein's report, which itself was requested by Trump during a meeting at the White House.

We are meant to believe that Sessions and Rosenstein only now brought their concerns to Trump about Comey's handling of the Clinton investigation last year, Trump told them to put it in writing, then Trump reviewed their findings, and made the tough decision to fire Comey. We are simultaneously meant to ignore that Comey was investigating Trump's ties to Russia and reports that Trump "had grown enraged by the Russia investigation."

That is manifest horseshit.

This president and his attorney general conspired to obstruct justice, creating a constitutional crisis for the nation.

That is what happened. There is no doubt.

And, as my friend Sarah Kendzior observes in her latest piece, "The purge of Mr. Comey is a standard power play, the kind one typically sees in states like Turkey or Russia as dictators consolidate power. To not be surprised is to acknowledge the horrifying fact that the United States is becoming an autocracy."

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus