Comey’s committee testimony proves to be ‘front page’ news around much of the world
While millions of Americans watched the Senate testimony of the former FBI director, the spectacle was the lead story on media worldwide
The public testimony of James Comey has concluded, and based on social media, it appears that much of the world, not just Americans, were glued to the telly, a sign that what happens in the US still is considered important. I suppose we should be happy about that, I guess.
There were a couple of revelations in the hearing that involve the media. First, Comey called a story in The New York Times that ran in February “bogus”.
“In the main, it was not true,” said Comey. “The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on and those of us who actually know what’s going on are not talking about it. And we don’t call the press and say, ‘Hey, you got that thing wrong.’ ”
The second instance was when Comey revealed that he gave a friend information to give to the press so that he could get his own side of the story out. Comey was not shy about it, even though Republicans and their surrogates will claim this was a “leak”. But, of course, Comey was fired and a private citizen, so there was no reason not to do this.
So, how are we, the media, handling the story — that is, the media outside the NYT and WaPo?
“The administration chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI,” he said at the beginning of his testimony to the Senate intelligence committee, in which he repeatedly stated that President Donald Trump lied about the course of events.
The White House hit back, with Sarah Huckabee Sanders stating during an off-camera briefing at the White House: “I can definitively say the president is not a liar. I think it is frankly insulting that question would be asked.”
But Mr Comey said he was disturbed by Mr Trump’s attempts to get him to drop a probe into the former national security adviser, but said it was not up to him to say whether president sought to obstruct justice.
Mr. Comey also found that Mr. Trump’s requests to him were “very disturbing” but that it was not his role to determine whether the US president had obstructed justice:
“I do not think it’s up to me to say if the conversation I had with the president was an attempt to obstruct”
He also said that Trump had not asked him to “stop” the investigation of Russia. “Director Comey, did the president at any time ask you to stop the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election? ” Asked Mr. Burr. “No ,” replied the man.
Flynn is considered the key figure of the Russian armies. He had to take the hat because he had lied about his Russian contacts.
Comey described the attitude of Trump to the investigations in the Russian army as “very disturbing”. It is not his task to assess whether Trump was guilty of his interference with the judiciary, according to the former FBI chief.
“Trump lied to me. And Moscow has interfered on American vote.” That was the testimony, under oath, the former FBI director James Comey gave before the Senate Intelligence Committee, investigating the possible interference of Russia in last November’s elections and on the links between Donald Trump and the Russians. Comey was fired in early May by US President while investigating the Russiagate. And yesterday, in anticipation of today’s statement, it revealed that Trump asked him to drop the investigation on the then National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Former FBI Director James Comey has called the Trump administration’s shifting explanations for firing him “lies, plain and simple” and said he wrote detailed memos of his conversations with President Donald Trump because he feared the president would paint a false picture of their encounters…
…He said that though no explanation was required for firing an FBI director “the administration chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI, by saying the organisation was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader.”
“Those were lies, plain and simple, and I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them and that the American people were told that,” Mr Comey said.