Friday, 09 June 2017

Comey Testimony Torpedoed Anti-Trump Narrative, Despite Fake News Reports

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Former FBI Director James Comey (shown) gave testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He testified that not only was President Trump not under investigation during Comey’s time at the FBI, but that Trump never interfered with the Russia investigation. He also said that there was no evidence that Russia influenced the election.

Since these three points make up much of the narrative of the attacks on Trump, Comey’s testimony in these areas is being largely ignored by the liberal mainstream media. This is — of course — no surprise, since many in the liberal mainstream media have been reporting fake news on this all along; it would be a bit too much to expect of them to now report that they were not just wrong, but completely so, all along. That would require a level of journalistic integrity that is simply too much to expect from them. You can’t report your way out of a pack of lies you reported your way into.

Before we unpack those portions of Comey’s testimony, let’s take a look at just a few of the headlines leading the board in the wake of that testimony.

The Associated Press: "Comey cites White House 'lies,' says he was fired because of Russia investigation";

The Associated Press: "Comey's testimony gives building blocks for obstruction case";

CBS News: "Comey testimony summary: Couldn't trust Trump, hopes there's tapes";

CBS News: "Comey on why he wrote Trump memos: 'I was honestly concerned that he might lie'";

U.S. News and World Report: "Comey: Trump Administration 'Chose to Defame Me'";

ABC News: "Comey says he was fired over Russia probe, blasts 'lies'."

And while the media outlets listed above can be accused of majoring in minors and ignoring the fact that Comey’s testimony torpedoed the narrative, the New York Times and the Washington Post go so far as to actually report the opposite of what Comey’s testimony showed.

The New York Times: "Comey Says Trump Tried to Derail Inquiry";

The New York Times: "For Trump, the ‘Cloud’ Just Grew That Much Darker";

The Washington Post: "Comey lays out the case that Trump obstructed justice";

The Washington Post: "Comey’s testimony changed everything — and not in Trump’s favor".

Did these “jounalists” even watch the hearing? Because Comey’s actual testimony bears little to no resemblance to their “reporting.” Let’s unpack that testimony and see — in Comey’s own words — what he said against the backdrop of what these media outlets reported.

First, before Comey testified, he submitted a prepared, written statement that was also released publicly. Since this statement was considered part of his sworn testimony and was referenced throughout his oral testimony and — because in a written statement, there is more deliberation than in oral testimony — this prepared statement is an important part of what Comey said. In that statement he wrote that he had told Trump — both as president-elect and as president — on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation. Using language such as “assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him,” “I offered that assurance,” “it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren't,” “we were not personally investigating President Trump,” and “I reminded him I had previously told him that,” the message is clear. That two-fold message is that the FBI was not investigating Donald Trump and that Comey told Trump as much.

His prepared statement notwithstanding, Comey was asked specifically during his testimony to answer publicly what President Trump had repeatedly asked him to answer publicly: Was Trump the subject of an FBI investigation? During his time answering questions from Vice-chairman Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), Comey was asked about his first meeting with then President-elect Trump, when he told Trump that he was not under investigation. Comey answered, “There was not a counterintelligence investigation of Mr. Trump, and I decided in the moment to say it, given the nature of our conversation.” Comey was also asked point-blank by Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), “I gather from all this that you're willing to say now that, while you were director, the president of the United States was not under investigation. Is that a fair statement?” Comey answered, “That’s correct.” Comey made several other such statements during his oral testimony, reiterating that Trump was not the subject of an investigation — either criminal or counterintelligence — by the FBI while Comey was the director.

In other parts of his oral testimony Thursday, Comey was asked by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, “Director Comey, did the president at any time ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. Elections?” Comey answered, “Not to my understanding, no.” Burr followed up with, “Did any individual working for this administration, including the justice department, ask you to stop the Russian investigation?” Comey was perfectly direct and absolutely clear in his single-word answer, “No.”

Comey’s unequivocal, unambiguous, simple, straightforward denial that President Trump or anyone else in the administration had ever interfered in the Russia investigation leave exactly zero doubt about the matter. The confusion the liberal mainstream media is spreading was sowed by Senator Warner, who questioned Comey next. Warner asked three loaded questions that deliberately ignored Comey’s previous answers. The first was, “Did he [President Trump] ever ask about you trying to interfere on any other investigation?” Comey answered, “No.” The next was, “He didn't ask to you take any specific action?” Again, Comey answered, “No.” Warner followed up with, “Unlike what he did vis-à-vis with Flynn and the Russia investigation?” Comey — missing the opportunity to keep anything resembling continuity in his testimony — answered, “Correct.”

This exchange between Warner and Comey is more than a little like asking a defendant who has already testified that he has never beaten his wife, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” The only answer Comey could have offered consistent with his testimony from just minutes before would have been, “President Trump did not interfere in any investigation, including the Russia investigation.” Instead, he answered in a way that left the the appearance that the door he had previously closed was still open. This, though, is a pattern for Comey.

The fact remains, though, that Comey’s direct answer to the questions of Trump or anyone else in the administration interfering in the election was, “No.”

But the greatest blow to the narrative — because it lays to waste the very premise of that narrative — is Comey’s testimony that Russia did not, in fact, influence the election.

While answering in the negative a series of questions from Senator Burr about whether he had “any doubt” that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC and DCCC, Comey was asked, “Do you have any doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections?” Again, Comey answer, “No.” He had no doubts. But since attempt is not success, Burr also asked, “Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?” Comey answered, “I'm confident. When I left as director I had seen no indication of that whatsoever.”

This testimony, in clear, easily understood words — directly answering the question — should carry all of the weight. Implications and innuendo to the contrary by liberal mainstream media should be seen for what it is: fake news. Comey’s testimony on these issues also meshes perfectly with The New American’s report that the election was not hacked.

While these clarifications and revelations are not likely to slow down — much less stop — the anti-Trump and anti-American narrative, at least the truth is out there for those who care to find it.

Photo of James Comey: Screenshot of C-Span video on YouTube

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