NSA Adviser H.R. McMaster: I Don’t Remember if Trump Called Comey a ‘Nutjob’
I don’t recall, I don’t know. You can’t ask me, because I don’t know.
Actually that’s probably a smart answer for someone considering his own possible legal jeopardy. Reagan used that answer the most during Iran-Contra: I don’t recall.
Certainly provides better legal cover than Trump blurting stuff out on Twitter and to Lester Holt.
Say what you want about Reagan and Iran Contra, but while it hurt his popularity, he survived it.
Iran Contra shows the right way to handle a scandal that threatens your Presidency. But Reagan immediately took public responsibility and praised the Special Prosecutor. He admitted wrongdoing but claimed it wasn’t him-it was rogue staff who should pay the price.
In other words the opposite of Trump’s tendency to double down. So McMaster’s might be smart legally to feign not remebering if he heard what Trump said about Comey.
“National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday said he does not remember whether President Donald Trump told Russian officials that fired FBI Director James Comey was “a real nut job.”
To be sure, it doesn’t seem very plausible that he doesn’t remember whether he knew or not. But Reagan and Oliver North played the I can’t recall card to good success in Iran Contra.
Back to McMaster:
“I don’t remember exactly what the President said,” McMaster said on ABC News’ “This Week.”
“This is weird though. I mean maybe you misheard Trump or didn’t hear it,etc. But you heard but don’t remember? How would anyone not remember the POTUS calling the FBI Director he fired last night a ‘nutjob.’
“White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the accuracy of the quotes in the Times’ report. McMaster, however, appeared to question them.”
“The notes that they apparently have I do not think are a direct transcript,” McMaster said on Sunday. “It’s very difficult to take a few lines, to take a paragraph out of what appear to be notes of that meeting.”
“He said the “intent” of Trump’s comments was to say that he “feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news.”
This is the new justification we’re hearing from Trump’s flacks. He fired Comey because this was interfering with Trump’s ability to ‘get along better with Russia.’
It adds up. He fired Comey who was impeding getting along with Russia in the evening and the next morning-with Comey no longer impeding him-he started getting along with Russia right away.
Now what it is a a legal defense is something else. McMaster mentions ‘intent’ which is important-as a big part of whether Trump engaged in treason in that meeting was the intent. I’m not sure the intent to get along better with Russia is exactly exculpatory.
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 21, 2017
Rex Tillerson says Trump bragged about firing Comey in front of the Russians ‘to prove he’s not distracted by it.’
Well, that clears that up.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday said that President Donald Trump discussed his abrupt termination of former FBI Director James Comey with Russian officials to prove he was not “distracted” from working to improve the U.S.-Russia relationship.
“He said that Trump “reemphasized the message to the Russians that the relationship is at a low point.”
Again, is this a defense or a confession?
“White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not deny the accuracy of those quotes, but said Comey “created unnecessary pressure” on U.S.-Russia relations by “grandstanding and politicizing the investigation” into Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
So he fired Comey to improve relations with Russia. That’s nothing like treason.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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