Yesterday, I asked “how pumped should we be for James Comey’s 20/20 interview and book tour?” Comey was the FBI Director until Trump fired him a year ago, a firing which got the ball rolling on the special prosecutor. Comey was also the guy who publicly torpedoed Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the last weeks of the 2016 election by dramatically announcing that the investigation into those fakakta emails was reopening because of new evidence. My point? James Comey is a mixed bag, to say the least. He wants to think that he’s standing up for truth, justice and the American way, while at the same time abdicating his share of the responsibility for the fat fascist sitting in the White House right now because of his (Comey’s) actions.
In any case, advanced copies of Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty went out to media outlets on Thursday. Almost every major outlet is now covering excerpts – you can read WaPo’s coverage here. So… we know a lot about how Comey is framing everything. One of the biggest headlines is all of the stuff about the Pee Tape, obviously. But here’s my list of stuff that stuck out:
The first time Trump brought up the Steele Dossier & the Pee Tape: The first time Trump brought up the Pee Tape was before he was sworn in, right after his first big security briefing. According to Comey’s account in a new memoir, Trump “strongly denied the allegations, asking — rhetorically, I assumed — whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes. He then began discussing cases where women had accused him of sexual assault, a subject I had not raised. He mentioned a number of women, and seemed to have memorized their allegations.”
Trump brought up hookers & pee tapes FOUR TIMES: Comey describes Trump as having been obsessed with the prostitutes portion of the infamous dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, raising it at least four times with the FBI head. The document claimed that Trump had watched the prostitutes urinate on themselves in the same Moscow suite that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stayed in previously “as a way of soiling the bed,” Comey writes.
Trump acted like a mobster: Interacting with Trump, Comey writes, gave him “flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.” The result, in Comey’s telling, is “the forest fire that is the Trump presidency.”
His message to Hillary Clinton: “I have read she has felt anger toward me personally, and I’m sorry for that. I’m sorry that I couldn’t do a better job explaining to her and her supporters why I made the decisions I made.”
Trump’s explanation for why the pee tape isn’t real: A week after the Trump Tower meeting, on Jan. 11, Comey writes that Trump called him and said he was concerned about the dossier being made public and was fixated on the prostitutes allegation. The president-elect argued that it could not be true because he had not stayed overnight in Moscow but had only used the hotel room to change his clothes. And after Trump explained that he would never allow people to urinate near him, Comey recalls laughing. “I decided not to tell him that the activity alleged did not seem to require either an overnight stay or even being in proximity to the participants,” Comey writes. “In fact, though I didn’t know for sure, I imagined the presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow was large enough for a germaphobe to be at a safe distance from the activity.”
The “loyalty oath” dinner for two: Trump broke the [loyalty] standoff by turning to other topics, Comey writes, speaking in torrents, “like an oral jigsaw puzzle,” about the size of his inauguration crowd, his free media coverage and the viciousness of the campaign. He talked about the Clinton email investigation as in three phases, as if it were a television series: “Comey One,” “Comey Two” and “Comey Three.” Trump also tried to convince Comey that he had not mocked disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski at a campaign rally, and then turned to the detailed allegations of sexual assault against him. “There was no way he groped that lady sitting next to him on the airplane, he insisted,” Comey writes. “And the idea that he grabbed a porn star and offered her money to come to his room was preposterous.”
And then he brought up the Pee Tape again: And then Trump brought up “the golden showers thing,” Comey writes. The president told him that “it bothered him if there was ‘even a one percent chance’ his wife, Melania, thought it was true.” Comey writes that Trump told him to consider having the FBI investigate the prostitutes allegation to “prove it was a lie.”
Trump called Comey a month later and brought up the Pee Tape again: “For about the fourth time, he argued that the golden showers thing wasn’t true, asking yet again, ‘Can you imagine me, hookers?’” Comey writes of their March 30, 2017, call. “In an apparent play for my sympathy, he added that he has a beautiful wife and the whole thing has been very painful for her. He asked what we could do to ‘lift the cloud.’” Comey recalls telling the president the FBI was investigating it as quickly as possible, and that he had told Congress Trump was not personally under investigation, to which the president repeatedly told him, “We need to get that fact out.”
LOL at even Melania believing that the Pee Tape is out there. What Melania has seen and done and turned away from, my God. So, what do we know now about the Pee Tape? We know for sure that there IS a Pee Tape because of course there is. If there wasn’t a tape and Trump had never done any of that, he wouldn’t be so obsessed with the details of it and the minutiae of denying it. “He added that he has a beautiful wife and the whole thing has been very painful for her…” Trump was literally banging Playmates and porn stars throughout his relationship with Melania, that’s how much he cared about causing Melania any pain. Both Karen McDougal AND Stormy Daniels said that he offered to pay them, so clearly, Trump was USED TO PAYING FOR IT. (Also: whatever happened to those rumors that Melania was an escort in her early days, hmm?)
So he treated women like hookers even when they weren’t. He also sexually assaulted women on a regular basis. Is it really so difficult to believe that the Pee Tape is really sitting in someone’s desk? Is it really so difficult to believe that Donald Trump really is a degenerate pervert, a sexual assailant, a wannabe mobster, a fascist, and a violent white supremacist?
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 12, 2018
Photos courtesy of Getty.