At a White House press conference today, President Trump accused former FBI director James Comey of perjuring himself before the US Senate—a very serious charge—and further advanced the ridiculous charade that he can prove it all with secret “tapes” which almost certainly do not exist.
After managing to stop tweeting for an entire day (hallelujah), the president let loose on Friday, accusing Comey of making “false statements and lies” while testifying under oath. On Twitter, Trump went so far as to declare “total and complete vindication” even though Comey explicitly stated the president leaned on him to end the investigation into his pal Michael Flynn.
Trump previously characterized the FBI as being in a state of utter disarray under Comey, one of the several pretexts the president used to explain Comey’s firing before publicly admitting that what he really wanted was for that whole Russia thing to go away. “Those were lies, plain and simple,” Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Asked about the “tapes” he most likely invented on Friday, Trump told reporters, “I’ll tell you about that sometime in the near future.” That future may be sooner than he expected: Having accused Comey of perjury, the Senate Intelligence Committee is now demanding that the president hand over the “tapes” by June 23rd. So he has two weeks.
In the wake of Comey’s testimony and Trump’s rebuttal, the American public has been left with the difficult decision. Should they believe the G-man who once threatened to quit his job as a US attorney on principle and whose former employees can’t find anything bad to say about him? Or the former casino owner who paid $25 million to settle a class-action fraud lawsuit six months ago and was recently outed for stealing kids’ cancer charity money? Tough call.
Meanwhile, seven of Trump’s current and former aides, including son-in-law Jared Kushner, are currently being scrutinized by a special counsel over their contacts with the Russian government. A special counsel that was only necessary because Trump’s attorney general suspiciously omitted his own exchanges with a Russian envoy during his Senate confirmation hearings.
Maybe Merriam-Webster can just tweet the definition of “vindication” so the president can learn to use it properly.
Correction: They already have.