Before FBI Director James B. Comey began his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, President Trump was back, compulsively tweeting — and underscoring the growing perception that his allegation that President Barack Obama had Trump’s “wires tapped” is nonsensical, his attachment to reality fleeting and his concern about Russian interference in the election on his behalf is palpable.
He tweeted: “James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!” (Interestingly, he limited the denial of collusion to him, POTUS, only.)
Certainly, he had been rattled by a parade of Republican lawmakers affirming there was no evidence of wiretapping. He was right to be anxious.
Comey did in fact confirm that the FBI is currently investigating Russian interference with our elections, including any links with members of the Trump campaign, and whether the latter constituted any crimes.
A short time later, Comey lowered the boom. What about evidence of wiretapping, as Trump claimed in tweets?
Comey was succinct: “I have no information that supports those tweets.”
That testimony is not “fake.” Trump cannot change the fact that his own national intelligence team is attempting to determine whether a foreign power tried to manipulate our election. Try as he might, there is no way for Trump to discount or conceal that reality.
The stone-faced Comey crisply providing definitive, unemotional testimony that was compelling, as was that of National Security Agency chief Michael S. Rogers, who, with furrowed brow, often answered with a simple yes or no.
Comey’s statement was not surprising, but it was nevertheless devastating. To hear the head of the FBI in essence call the president a liar or wide-eyed conspiratorialist is bracing, if not humiliating, for the chief executive. And reflecting on the morning tweet, Trump now seems desperate, childish and…