A lot of media attention was given to the claim by President Trump that former FBI Director James Comey had told him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation by the FBI.
It also got attention because Trump implied there might be tapes of these encounters, but that’s another issue altogether. Many people seemed to be flat out denying Trump was telling the truth about these notifications.
Well, as it turns out, he was.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) June 7, 2017
And if you read the entire statement, it seems as if it’s going to turn out to be of great benefit to Trump. He never asks Comey to stop investigating the Russia concerns. In fact, he seems to want him to get to the bottom of things so that he can be cleared and move on with the business of running the country.
During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it…
On the morning of March 30, the President called me at the FBI. He described the Russia investigation as “a cloud” that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well. He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him…
The President went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he 7 hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out that we weren’t investigating him.
This does not read like the actions of a man who is trying to stop an investigation. Yes, he does seem troubled by the slow speed, but who wouldn’t be? I’m frustrated as well, so I can only imagine how Trump feels.
It looks like the media and the Democrats have overplayed their hand once again. We’ll know more after Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill tomorrow.