People can spin it all they want. People can pretend to be lawyers and argue about “lawyerly answers.” People can shout about leaks all the want. It’s not going to matter. Today was not a good day for President Trump no matter what comes of the Gorsuch hearings.
There were two major questions at stake today, and the answers to both steamroll President Trump’s rantings and ravings about them on Twitter and in public.
The first issue deals with the FBI, and whether or not they’re investigating Russian influence on the 2016 election including links to the Trump campaign and if those links included any criminal activity. President Trump tweeted this morning:
James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2017
Unfortunately for Trump, Comey did confirm the FBI is currently investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and that includes any links with members of the Trump campaign, and more importantly, whether the latter constituted any crimes.
The second question goes back to Trump’s hysterical tweets about his phones being tapped inside of Trump Tower. Since making that initial allegation, he nor his team have backed off. They’ve adjusted their arguments to say Trump was talking about different kinds of surveillance and not just phone taps. After one week a media firestorm and a week of Republicans, including those from Congressional intelligence committees, saying there was no evidence to support the claims, James Comey confirmed Trump’s claims are bunk. When asked about the allegations in the Trump tweets, Comey replied, “I have no information that supports those tweets.”
Trump supporters chirped in my ears this is a “lawyerly” answer and doesn’t specifically address Trump’s claims, and that’s preposterous. Comey heads up the agency that would have to petition the FISA Court for a warrant for such surveillance. If there were anything credible behind Trump’s tweets, Comey would have refused to answer as he did any number of times when the question concerned an ongoing investigation.
I argued this morning Trump’s tweets appeared to extend from a nervousness over what would happen today. It seems he had reason to be. The head of the FBI pretty much said the President was lying when he tweeted what he did, two weeks ago.
With this new information, I am hoping Congressional Republicans have the fortitude to start pushing back on President Trump or to persuade him to give up his Twitter account as it has hurt him more than helped.
One can only imagine what the tweet-storm will look like tomorrow.