Yeah, I’m pretty sure I would have felt the same way.
A close friend of James Comey’s, Brookings Institution fellow, Benjamin Wittes, spoke on PBS’ “NewsHour” Thursday night, and told of an incident between Comey and President Trump that went down earlier this year.
It was a White House event held to honor the law enforcement who had worked security during Trump’s inauguration. Comey was among those invited.
Wittes said Comey “really did not want to go to that meeting” and tried to distance himself from Trump to ensure the FBI’s independence from the White House. Comey, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, was wearing a dark blue suit and stood near the similarly colored curtains in the back of the room, hoping that Trump would not spot him.
Trump did end up calling out Comey.
“Right at the end, Trump singles [Comey] out in a fashion that [Comey] regarded as sort of calculated,” Wittes said. “Trump grabs the hand and kind of pulls [Comey] into the hug, but the hug is entirely one-sided. Comey was just completely disgusted by the episode.”
We’ve all been there, right? We go for a handshake and it ends up being an uncomfortable hug.
“He thought it was an intentional attempt to compromise him in public,” he added.
And it very likely was.
Trump came into office under a cloud of suspicion that has only gotten worse since January 20. I suspect he realizes the need for outside intervention on his behalf.
As the stories pile up, regarding the distrust and tension in Trump’s White House, it comes as no surprise that he has tried to arrange the pieces on the table to work to his maximum benefit, even if just for appearances.
Comey is not dumb. He knew he was being used, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that uncomfortable hugging thing is the moment he decided he needed to keep memos of all his interactions with the latest con man to take over the White House.