It’s not been a good week for President Donald Trump. He announced and then unannounced military strikes on Syria. His lawyer was raided and stands accused of bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) took a look at the writing on the wall (Republicans beware! Blue wave 2018 incoming!) and promptly announced his upcoming retirement. So, not a very good week at all.
On top of all of this, Trump is hearing excerpts from James Comey’s new book “A Higher Loyalty” from almost every news outlet. In response, the past few days have seen a coordinated effort by both the Republican National Committee and the White House to get ahead of the bombshell revelations in Comey’s book. Of course, Trump’s first line of defense has been Twitter, where he carried on a tantrum about Comey just yesterday:
James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
….untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
The RNC is feeling the heat, too. They built an entire website to discredit him ahead of the book launch:
The RNC has the unmitigated gall to create a website called ‘Lyin’ Comey’ to ‘inform’ the American people that, when they see & hear James Comey on tv making the rounds pushing his book, he is not to be trusted & he’s a lair. This coming from the people who back Trump 👇🏽.. pic.twitter.com/7lCcQAyMyf
— Indivisible Network (@IndivisibleNet) April 14, 2018
In fact, they have a whole campaign to impugn his integrity:
The RNC reportedly has a battle plan to take on Comey, branding him as "Lyin' Comey" through a website, digital advertising and talking points to be sent to Republicans across the country. https://t.co/zSBazROt4x
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 12, 2018
The third branch of attack is Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, who went on a media tour to discredit Comey.
CNN reported on her wild attack:
Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway: "We find that Mr. Comey has a revisionist view of history and seems like a disgruntled ex-employee" in his new memoir https://t.co/nxqZ111KmZ https://t.co/4oZCA9tBqh
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 13, 2018
Of course, she also went on Fox News to repeat the same sentiment:
Kellyanne's argument is that Comey was fired as FBI director, therefore he's a bad person. (Very convenient logic for Trump!) pic.twitter.com/izzlDp4OvF
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 13, 2018
‘To me, it seems to me he’s a disgruntled ex-employee who after the fact wants to clear his conscience of what bothered him at the time. If you’re that bothered, quit, leave the job.’
She gave her opinion on Comey’s motivations:
‘It seems pretty self-aggrandizing to me.’
Let’s rewind a bit and check out exactly what Kellyanne Conway said about Comey before she went into Trump-protection-mode. Here’s a small sampling of her defending Comey when it suited her:
Astonished by the all-out assault on Comey by Team Clinton. Suggesting he is a partisan interfering with the election is dangerous & unfair.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 29, 2016
Then why did you, your colleagues, and your candidate attack Comey and his credibility? https://t.co/GjPeV8pWsr
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) November 6, 2016
A new low. Encouraging boos for Comey at her rally this weekend. https://t.co/BCPuj1UWTp
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 31, 2016
Breaking: Democrats attacking Comey again, even as their pals in media exult Comey re: breaching, er, "briefing". https://t.co/Yc2jKIAB7g
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) January 13, 2017
We know from previous reports that Conway’s vitriol isn’t coming from her strongly held personal convictions:
‘Wolff describes Conway as a “vulgar,” two-faced schemer who mocks the president’s bombastic and absurd claims behind closed doors with mouth agape, pointing a finger pistol to her own head, but morphs into his most rabid defender when the cameras go on.’
This claim was backed by cable news hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough:
‘This is a woman, by the way, who came on our show during the campaign and would shill for Trump in extensive fashion and then she would get off the air, the camera would be turned off, the microphone would be taken off and she would say “bleeech I need to take a shower,” because she disliked her candidate so much, Brzezinski said.’
The only conclusion is that Conway is acting to protect Trump (and to ensure her job security).
What could possibly have Trump, the RNC, and Trump’s surrogates so scared? What could possibly have them worked up enough for this kind of concerted effort? Let’s take a look at some excerpts from Comey’s book released ahead of publication: (Axios helpfully compiled a list of Comey’s bombshell statements in his upcoming book.)
- According to Comey, Trump wasn’t actually worried by any assertions of Russian election interference. The only thing that really bothered him was:
‘…how to position these findings for maximum political advantage.’
- Comey characterizes Trump as
‘…untethered to the truth.’
- Comey gives a window into Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly’s opinion of Trump, saying that Kelly reacted to his firing by saying:
‘…he didn’t want to work for dishonorable people.’
- He mentions what it’s like to see Trump face to face, saying that Trump’s:
‘…face appeared slightly orange, with bright white half-moons under his eyes where I assumed he placed small tanning goggles, and impressively coiffed, bright blond hair, which upon close inspection looked to be all his.’
- Comey also described the difference in hand size, which Trump is notoriously self-conscious of:
‘Comey also wrote that when Trump reached out for a handshake, he couldn’t help but notice that the president’s hand “was smaller than mine” but added, it “did not seem unusually so.”’
- Shockingly, he also admits that it’s entirely possible that the events in the Steele Dossier were true, even the description of kinky sexual exploits with Russian hookers, adding:
‘I honestly never thought those words would come out of my mouth.’
James Comey’s book is out on Tuesday, April 17.
Featured image: Mark Wilson/Getty