The New York Times is reporting (and the White House has reportedly confirmed) that President Donald Trump made some truly disturbing comments in his controversial meeting with the Russians. Not only did Trump call former FBI Director James Comey “a real nut job” but told the Russians that the firing has taken pressure off of him in terms of Russia. The leaked summary will fuel the allegations that Trump fired Comey to try to shutdown the Russian investigation to relieve pressure on himself. While I have discussed my skepticism over the evidence of an actual crime by the President, Trump appears committed to leaving the greatest incriminating impression possible in such meeting.
The leaked summary quotes Trump in statements to Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, and Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey I. Kislyak. He is quoted as saying “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job . . . I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” He reportedly added “I’m not under investigation.”
It is rather humorous that Trump would think that he had to tell the Russians about the firing which was not only all over the news and virtually all of the coverage was discussing the Russian connection.
It is not clear who would leak this summary. The most interesting thought is that, with the demands from Congress and likely demand from the new Special Counsel, this summary was going to be demanded (and likely revealed). The fact that the leak was on Friday (when insiders tend to leak bad news at the worst time of the news cycle) raises the question of whether this was a preemptive leak. Otherwise, it would be another example of executive branch employees actively working to expose what they view as disturbing conduct or comments from this President.
One person who is likely to react as negatively as Comey would be the new Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller is not the type of guy who likes to hear of a president dishing dirt on the FBI director to two Russians in a meeting where only the state-run Tass media outfit was allowed (to the exclusion of American media).
If true, the comments are obviously quite bizarre and embarrassing. Again there is only one guy who must be enjoying this immensely: