Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, May 22, 2017

President Trump called the FBI director, James B. Comey, weeks after he took office and asked him when federal authorities were going to put out word that Trump was not personally under investigation, according to two people briefed on the call. Comey told the president that if he wanted to know details about the bureau's investigations, he should not contact him directly but instead follow the proper procedures and have the White House counsel send any inquiries to the Justice Department, according to those people. After explaining to Trump how communications with the FBI should work, Comey believed he had effectively drawn the line after a series of encounters he had with the president and other White House officials that he felt jeopardized the FBI's independence. At the time, Comey was overseeing the investigation into links between Trump's associates and Russia.

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Excellent, detailed article. Comey's memos to aides detailing all of this should make great reading once we see them.

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2017-05-18 09:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

After Trump pressured Comey to "let Flynn go," Priebus pressured him to tell the media there was nothing to the Trump/Russia investigation:

Those interactions included a dinner in which associates of Mr. Comey say Mr. Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty and a meeting in the Oval Office at which Mr. Trump told him he hoped Mr. Comey would shut down an investigation into Mr. Trump's former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Trump has denied making the request.

The day after the Flynn conversation, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, asked Mr. Comey to help push back on reports in the news media that Mr. Trump's associates had been in contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign.

#2 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-18 09:08 PM | Reply

Hmmm, sounds like Comey isn't the only one Trump pressured:

Preet Bharara‏ @PreetBharara

Yes, this sounds familiar. Comey, Unsettled by Trump, Is Said to Have Wanted Him Kept at a Distance nyti.ms

twitter.com

#3 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-18 09:15 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"I do not think it is wise for a sitting president to try cultivating a personal telephonic relationship with a sitting U.S. attorney, especially one with a certain jurisdiction," he {Bharara} said, an apparent reference to Trump Tower's location within the Southern District.

www.nytimes.com

I'm sure this is the way Donald learned to do business and circumvent the law (think Rudy Giuliani and "The Case of the Missing Case").

#4 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-18 09:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Can you say obstruction of justice? I know you can. Trump tried everything from creepy hugs to flatter to inappropriate contacts (in person and over the phone) to win over men like Comey and Bharara. When he saw he couldn't buy them off, he fired them. Comey did a practice Q&A session before meeting with Trump and often took notes on their conversations in the car afterwards:

Comey prepared extensively for his conversations with Trump

Before going to the dinner, Comey practiced Trump's likely questions and his answers with a small group of his most trusted confidants, the associates said, in part to ensure he did not give Trump any ammunition to use against him later.

The director did not take notes during the dinner with the president, but there were times, one associate recalled, when after meeting with Trump, Comey started writing notes as soon as he got into a car, "to make sure he could accurately record what was said.''

#5 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-18 09:43 PM | Reply

Trump has been corrupt for decades, why change now. Up until now, when he got caught he just paid a fine using other peoples charity money.
100% scumbag.

#6 | Posted by bored at 2017-05-18 10:19 PM | Reply

I can't read the NYT piece, they don't like this computer.

But I read the piece by Wittes published after the Times.

What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump www.lawfareblog.com

#7 | Posted by et_al at 2017-05-18 10:51 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

What James Comey Told Me About Donald Trump

Et Al, what's your take?

#8 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-05-18 11:05 PM | Reply

"I do not think it is wise for a sitting president to try cultivating a personal telephonic relationship with a sitting U.S. attorney"

On the other hand, that does sound like exactly the sort of thing a rich businessman would try to do. Cultivate a personal relationship with a prosecutor to get on his good side, in case any of your business deals invite scruitiny, you've got someone to see it your way.

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-05-18 11:34 PM | Reply

#8

Trump plays checkers, Comey plays chess. What I would expect of a good director.

I was not comforted by Comey's comment on Rosenstein. Now, I think I know why Wittes said the other day that Rosenstein should appoint special counsel and then resign.

#10 | Posted by et_al at 2017-05-18 11:45 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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"Now, I think I know why Wittes said the other day that Rosenstein should appoint special counsel and then resign."

Because...where Comey said no, Rosenstein said...yes?

#11 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-05-18 11:48 PM | Reply

You didn't read what Wittes reported Comey said about Rosenstein?

#12 | Posted by et_al at 2017-05-19 12:02 AM | Reply

I did. The word that struck me was "compromise". That's why I asked. Do you think where Comey wouldn't give the loyalty oath, Rosenstein did?

#13 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-05-19 12:24 AM | Reply

...without knowing that Comey had been asked and refused?

#14 | Posted by Danforth at 2017-05-19 12:26 AM | Reply

I don't know, not enough information, but that seems to be Wittes' impression and provides insight into his saying he should resign.

I would've thought the special counsel appointment would disabused anyone of that thought. Nevertheless, it will remain in the back of my mind as I watch Rosenstein and Trump's reaction to him going forward. The IC will probably do so also.

#15 | Posted by et_al at 2017-05-19 12:54 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Speaking of Rosenstein and things that are unsettling:

Senator Jeff Merkley @SenJeffMerkley
Rosenstein testimony to Senate was profoundly disturbing.

#16 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-05-19 07:36 AM | Reply

#10 | POSTED BY ET_AL
"Trump plays checkers, Comey plays chess."

NW

#17 | Posted by TheTom at 2017-05-19 10:52 AM | Reply

#7 thanks for the link.

#18 | Posted by uncle_meat at 2017-05-22 04:13 PM | Reply

I would've thought the special counsel appointment would disabused anyone of that thought. Nevertheless, it will remain in the back of my mind as I watch Rosenstein and Trump's reaction to him going forward. The IC will probably do so also.

Agreed, and this was a great article, since it was in the first person and since Wittes is a friend of Comey my guess is that he had him look at it before he put it on the blog.

Now this is a far better article then all the anonymous conjecture as to what Comey and Trump did or didn't do, and is probably a road map for Comey's testimony.

It's still technically hearsay, but with a witness who is willing to be identified, which makes it much stronger.

#19 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-05-22 04:52 PM | Reply

"Trump plays checkers, Comey plays chess."

#10 | POSTED BY ET_AL

Great observation. Personally, I think it actually applies to Trump's interaction in general.

#20 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-05-22 05:22 PM | Reply

Trump used to play rock, paper, scissors, but no one could tell which he was playing without a magnifying glass.

#21 | Posted by Corky at 2017-05-22 05:33 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Now this is a far better article then all the anonymous conjecture as to what Comey and Trump did or didn't do, and is probably a road map for Comey's testimony.

#19 | POSTED BY RIGHTOCENTER

Just because something is anonymous, doesn't make it conjecture no matter how hard the DR Conservatives wish to believe it.

#22 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-22 05:52 PM | Reply

#22

Just because something is anonymous, doesn't make it fact no matter how hard the DR Left wish to believe it.

#23 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-05-22 05:56 PM | Reply

"After explaining to Trump how communications with the FBI should work..."

Yeah but did he use a colorful one-page explanation with pictures and bright colors? That's the way his staff has to communicate with him to make him understand anything. Just like the child that he is.

#24 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-22 06:01 PM | Reply

Just because something is anonymous, doesn't make it fact no matter how hard the DR Left wish to believe it.

#23 | Posted by Rightocenter

If you hadn't noticed, the anonymous sources have a much better track record of accuracy than trump's mouth.

Maybe you should start to believe the more reliable sources. Unless you LIKE being lied to?

#25 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-22 06:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Comey Gave Trump Numerous Hints to Back Off

Just like so many women in his life have done.

#26 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-05-23 05:54 PM | Reply

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