I’ve sarcastically quipped in the past that trying to interpret Donald Trump’s tweets can be dangerous, because it’s akin to trying to decipher the motivations of a cat while it’s high on catnip. But there are times when Trump’s intentions in his tweets are rather clear, such as when he publicly threatened former FBI Director James Comey this morning. The hard part is figuring out what he just threatened him with.
Not long after he rolled out of bed this morning, Donald Trump tweeted that “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” (link). This leads to so many obvious questions it’s difficult to know where to begin, such as why Trump keeps putting words like “tapes” in quotation marks, but we must start with this one: What tapes?
Did Donald Trump really just admit that he secretly taped his private conversations with Comey? Or is he suggesting that someone else taped them? The Russians, perhaps? What is Trump even talking about here? This is, after all, the same guy who barely a month ago asked Comey and the FBI to investigate whether President Obama had somehow secretly been wiretapping Trump Tower. So there seems no limit to the paranoid things that Trump is either willing to believe because he’s paranoid himself, or perhaps willing to make up because he wants his adversaries to be paranoid. But there’s no mistaking the one most crucial aspect of Trump’s tweet.
Regardless of whether this was an admission by Trump that he secretly recorded Comey, or a bluff, or simply another sign he’s lost his mental capacity, it was in fact a threat aimed at James Comey. And so now Trump is publicly threatening an employee whom he just fired, after having committed obstruction of justice by admitting he fired him to make the Russia investigation go away. Trump should ask Nixon how secretly recording every White House conversation worked out for him. Help fund Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report