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April 20, 2018

Byron York: Trump's Demand for "Loyalty" Looks Different Now, Given That His First Meeting With Comey Consisted of Comey Basically Saying "We Have a Document Claiming You Paid Whores to Pee on Each Other and All the Media Wants Us to Help Them Publish It"

Which sounds a lot like blackmail -- something the FBI, especially under the corrupt leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, was very willing to engage in.

Why would Trump wonder about the FBI director's loyalty? Perhaps because in their first meeting, the FBI director dropped the Moscow sex allegation on Trump, followed immediately by its publication in the media. It seems entirely reasonable for a president to wonder what was going on and whether the FBI director was loyal, not to the president personally, but to the confidentiality that is required in his role as head of the nation's chief investigative agency.

A few more things. We had known earlier that Comey briefed Trump about the dossier one-on-one on January 6, 2017. But it was not until an interview Thursday with CNN's Jake Tapper that Comey revealed the conversation was only about the Moscow sex allegation. The other parts of the dossier -- about Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, allegations of collusion -- Comey did not mention to the president-elect. No wonder Trump associated the dossier with the Moscow sex story.

We also know, from the new book Russian Roulette, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that immediately after the first Comey meeting, Trump thought the FBI was blackmailing him:

"Trump had seen this sort of thing before," they write. "Certainly, his old mentor Roy Cohn -- the notorious fixer for mobsters and crooked pols -- knew how this worked. So too did Comey's famous predecessor J. Edgar Hoover, who had quietly let it be known to politicians and celebrities that he possessed information that could destroy their careers in a New York minute."

York also points out that journalists are seizing on the idea that Trump seized upon the "golden showers" accusation, as if that means either he was especially concerned about that allegation because it was true or he was only concerned with that allegation because it was the only one that wasn't true -- that Trump was basically shrugging off the Russian Collusion allegations, because he knew, well, it's a fair cop.

Not so, points out York: Trump focused on the golden showers allegations for the simple reason that Comey, by his own admission, only told him about the golden showers allegations.

He hid from Trump the Manafort, Page, etc. allegations.

Which seems to be in keeping with the directive Obama offered in his "by the book" meeting -- ordering his staff to essentially continue to serve as his staff even after a new president was sworn in, keeping details of the investigation from the duly elected president.

"From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia," Rice wrote. "The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would."

Rather than serving Trump, they continued to serve Obama and his last "by the book" directive.

Little wonder that Trump would have questions about which president they were loyal to -- the actual president under the Constitution, or the eternal president-for-life "in their hearts."


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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:59 PM

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