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Greg Lance – Watkins
Inside Trump’s anger and impatience — and his sudden decision to fire Comey
Now let us consider the ‘Back Story:
The back story requires insight into the private dinner which the newly inaugurated and very inexperienced, in political terms, POTUS Donald Trump had invited Jamed Comey the head of the FBI to, back in January, just seven days after the inauguration.
These facts, though disputed, throw a much clearer light on the sacking of Comey and it is very much a matter of which is the more plausible, the long serving Civil Servant who has climbands the protyocols or the newcomer with his background in inherited wealth, several bankruptcies and a track record of showy ostentation and bullying ambition – whose clear maxim seems to follow the principle of Joseph Goebels that if you repeat a lie often enough it will become the truth!
In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred.
WASHINGTON — Only seven days after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president, James B. Comey has told associates, the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief.
The conversation that night in January, Mr. Comey now believes, was a harbinger of his downfall this week as head of the F.B.I., according to two people who have heard his account of the dinner.
As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.
Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.
Mr. Comey described details of his refusal to pledge his loyalty to Mr. Trump to several people close to him on the condition that they not discuss it publicly while he was F.B.I. director. But now that Mr. Comey has been fired, they felt free to discuss it on the condition of anonymity.
A White House spokeswoman on Thursday disputed the description of the dinner by Mr. Comey’s associates.
“We don’t believe this to be an accurate account,” said Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary. “The integrity of our law enforcement agencies and their leadership is of the utmost importance to President Trump. He would never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty, only loyalty to our country and its great people.”
At the dinner described by Mr. Trump in his interview with NBC, the conversation with Mr. Comey was quite different. Mr. Trump told NBC that Mr. Comey requested it to ask to keep his job. Mr. Trump said he asked the F.B.I. director if he was under investigation, a question that legal experts called highly unusual if not improper. In Mr. Trump’s telling, Mr. Comey reassured him that he was not.
Mr. Trump did not say whether he asked Mr. Comey for his loyalty. Asked at Wednesday’s White House news briefing whether loyalty was a factor in picking a new F.B.I. director, Ms. Sanders said Mr. Trump wanted someone who is “loyal to the justice system.”
The dinner described by Mr. Comey’s associates came in the early days of Mr. Trump’s administration, as the F.B.I. was investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible ties to Mr. Trump’s campaign. That investigation has since gained momentum as investigators have developed new evidence and leads.
Mr. Trump had met Mr. Comey for the first time in January, during the transition, when, along with the intelligence chiefs, the F.B.I. director presented him with evidence of that intervention. Mr. Comey was tasked by his fellow intelligence directors to also pull Mr. Trump aside and inform him about a secret dossier suggesting that Russia might have collected compromising information about him.
The dinner at which the conversation Mr. Comey related took place was on Jan. 27, almost a month later. CNN reported on Thursday that Mr. Comey never gave Mr. Trump an assurance of his loyalty.
Mr. Comey’s associates said that the new president requested the dinner he described, and said that he was wary about attending because he did not want to appear too chummy with Mr. Trump, especially amid the Russia investigation. But Mr. Comey went because he did not believe he could turn down a meeting with the new president.
During the meal, according to the account of the two associates, Mr. Comey tried to explain to Mr. Trump how he saw his role as F.B.I. director. Mr. Comey told Mr. Trump that the country would be best served by an independent F.B.I. and Justice Department.
In announcing Mr. Comey’s dismissal on Tuesday, the White House released documents from the attorney general and the deputy attorney general that outlined why Mr. Comey should be fired.
Mr. Trump said in the NBC interview, “Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.”
“In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,” Mr. Trump said.
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