Today’s House Intelligence Committee hearings on Donald Trump and Russia served as a display of the immediacy of modern communication. After FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers testified that Russia tried to influence the election in Trump’s favor, Trump essentially tweeted that they’d said the opposite. But that allowed the Democrats on the committee to read Trump’s tweet back to Comey, who then refuted it.
Donald Trump tweeted the following false claim at 12:42pm eastern time: “The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process.” But just an hour later, while the heads of the NSA and FBI were still testifying, Democratic Congressman Jim Himes read the tweet aloud for them. Comey initially tried to avoid calling his boss Trump a lair by quipping “I haven’t been following anyone on Twitter while I’ve bee sitting here,” prompting Rogers to laugh. Himes then read Trump’s tweet aloud again for emphasis.
At that point James Comey refuted Donald Trump’s tweet: “We’ve offered no opinion, have no view, have no information on potential impact because it’s never something that we looked at.” This means that not only did Comey refute Trump’s earlier false claim about an Obama wiretap during his testimony today, Comey also refuted the false claim that Trump had tweeted while Comey was testifying. This came after MSNBC had already shot down the Trump tweet in a real time sidebar graphic earlier in Comey’s testimony.
James Comey confirmed during his testimony today that the FBI is currently investigating Russia’s attempt at rigging the election, as well as investigating the role that the Trump campaign played in Russia’s meddling. Trump is surely fuming right now, but it’s unlikely that he has the stones to fire Comey or he’d have done it by now. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report