Author Topic: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey  (Read 28172 times)

yossarian22c

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Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« on: May 10, 2017, 06:49:12 AM »

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 10:28:44 AM »
Sorry, but after the disclosures and comments he recently made to Congress, Comey was damaged goods. He may not have been particularly partisan in his politics, but his decision making process looks to have been strongly skewed by politics all the same.

Not that I have a high degree in confidence that Trump will make a good pick in regards to replacing Comey, but until that replacement is named and vetted, I'm also not inclined to condemn the call to fire him either.

It's also somewhat amusing to see the people who were ready to fire Comey over the Hillary letter in October alone, are suddenly outraged that Trump would even dare to fire the guy now. Talk about wanting things both ways.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 10:52:31 AM »
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Sorry, but after the disclosures and comments he recently made to Congress, Comey was damaged goods. He may not have been particularly partisan in his politics, but his decision making process looks to have been strongly skewed by politics all the same.

I would be interested to know why you considered him "damaged goods" after his recent comments to Congress.  There didn't seem to be any new information about his decision making process that we didn't already know.

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It's also somewhat amusing to see the people who were ready to fire Comey over the Hillary letter in October alone, are suddenly outraged that Trump would even dare to fire the guy now. Talk about wanting things both ways.

While there are quite a few people who are happy that Comey was fired, nobody believes it was because of his handling of Hillary's investigation. ::)

Which leads to the question--why was he really fired?  What other major investigations is he leading?  Hmm...hmm... ;)


Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 12:38:03 PM »
While there are quite a few people who are happy that Comey was fired, nobody believes it was because of his handling of Hillary's investigation
Actually, almost everyone with basic reasoning skills believes Comey's handling of the email investigation was a significant part of his dismissal and it is the official reason for his dismissal after 'newly confirmed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein penned an extensive memo for Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlining concerns with Comey’s conduct during and after the Clinton email probe where, among other things, he said he could not defend Comey’s handling of the end of the investigation, and could not understand “his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.” '

Which leads to the question--why was he really fired?  What other major investigations is he leading?  Hmm...hmm...
It is unlikely he was the lead investigator on anything - at the director level you're generally not directly involved in the investigations of your agents. Senior agents that have investigative roles will continue with their investigations.  Comey being out does not suddenly stop investigations that are ongoing.  What your question really leads to is the opening for fake news and spin that can feed preconceived outcomes.

Gaoics79

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 12:49:39 PM »
I take it as the highest character reference that the man was reviled by both parties (for different reasons) throughout his tenure. This latest event is in keeping with that pattern. Too much integrity may be non conducive to success in these times.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 02:34:39 PM »
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Actually, almost everyone with basic reasoning skills believes Comey's handling of the email investigation was a significant part of his dismissal and it is the official reason for his dismissal after 'newly confirmed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein penned an extensive memo for Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlining concerns with Comey’s conduct during and after the Clinton email probe where, among other things, he said he could not defend Comey’s handling of the end of the investigation, and could not understand “his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.” '

Except I was referring to our representatives in Congress, so "basic reasoning skills" don't apply. :)

Seriously, though, although Rosenstein's memo was articulate and well thought-out, it doesn't answer the question of why actions that were taken 10 months ago require Comey's removal within hours of the memo being written.  Was Sessions and Trump unaware of these things until now?  Were they both so taken aback at the magnitude of these sudden revelations that they had to get rid of him before the day was through?

Perhaps the decision was made earlier and they were just waiting for Rosenstein to finish his memo.  But the abruptness of this firing is still disconcerting.

At least, I hope that is what happened, and nothing more nefarious. :(

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What your question really leads to is the opening for fake news and spin that can feed preconceived outcomes.

Well, duh! :)

But, seriously, tell me who didn't think of the "Saturday Night Massacre" when they heard of Comey's sudden firing?  Didn't it cross your mind, too, when you heard that the head of the FBI, while they were investigating the President, was suddenly fired by the President?  Just about everyone I've talked to did.  The comparison is so obvious, the Administration should have anticipated it.  Don't blame me for insinuating the obvious.

Perhaps the problem is that Trump thinks of himself as America's Boss.  That he is the CEO, who can make decisions as he sees fit, and everyone must accept them.  Because, well, he's the Boss.

What he needs to realize is that he really is a Civil Servant.  He is working for us, the American people, and is accountable to us.  So when he makes a major decision--especially one that looks like it could be tainted--he needs to handle it carefully and make sure we understand the reasons behind it before he makes it.  Just so that it doesn't look bad, like this one does now.

Seriously, I've read both Democrat and Republican congressmen questioning this decision.  Perhaps none of them have "basic reasoning skills."  Or perhaps Trump just stepped in it again. ;)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 02:37:00 PM by Wayward Son »

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 03:11:35 PM »
Seriously, though, although Rosenstein's memo was articulate and well thought-out, it doesn't answer the question of why actions that were taken 10 months ago require Comey's removal within hours of the memo being written.  Was Sessions and Trump unaware of these things until now?  Were they both so taken aback at the magnitude of these sudden revelations that they had to get rid of him before the day was through?

I would guess that they were inclined to take this course of action quickly but wanted to conduct a more measured review of the facts rather than respond to media demands (of which there were many immediately after the election). Firing the Director of the FBI is no small act and it is smart to do the due diligence rather than act as a kneejerk response.  As the review confirmed everything, they acted swiftly rather than dither on it - something that is a more business like methodology rather than a bureaucrats that is concerned about politics and image.

But, seriously, tell me who didn't think of the "Saturday Night Massacre" when they heard of Comey's sudden firing?  Didn't it cross your mind, too, when you heard that the head of the FBI, while they were investigating the President, was suddenly fired by the President?  Just about everyone I've talked to did.
No, because I am not looking at it through a partisan lens.  Comey was on the fast track to firing since last summer.  In fact, I suspect his firing was long overdue. If Hillary Clinton or Obama had fired Comey while the FBI was investigating her email server, I seriously doubt everyone you know would have had such a reaction.

Seriously, I've read both Democrat and Republican congressmen questioning this decision.  Perhaps none of them have "basic reasoning skills."  Or perhaps Trump just stepped in it again

It's partisan attack politics. They are playing to a base and trying to score political points.  The very same people that called for his firing only 4 months ago for just the reason he was fired as the exact same one that now think there's some kind of hidden agenda.

NobleHunter

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 03:22:05 PM »
If Comey was on "the fast track to firing," why did Trump and Sessions speak so positively of him? Why didn't they criticize his handling of the emails investigation? Why did they wait until the end of April to start the review?

So swiftly they couldn't be bothered to let the guy know before going to the press? That's not standard business methodology.

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 03:37:49 PM »
The way he found out was inappropriate, that's for sure.  He should have been notified before the media got hold of it but then again leaks are everywhere right now as people try to sabotage the administration so they may have just wanted to be out in front of it and exert some control over the message before the spin and fake news teams did the nasty on it.

I think if they'd been critical of Comey or immediately fired him, you'd be asking the exact same questions for the exact same reasons.  In short, whatever Trump does is wrong is the mindset of the establishment (left and right) and those that opposed him. If he did not fire Comey, there was some secret and nefarious reason.  If he fired Comey, there is some secret and nefarious reason.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 03:46:02 PM »
If Comey was on "the fast track to firing," why did Trump and Sessions speak so positively of him? Why didn't they criticize his handling of the emails investigation?

That's obvious to anyone in the corporate cannibal world.  You fire someone out of nowhere, so they don't have a chance to screw you.

NobleHunter

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2017, 03:56:54 PM »
The way he found out was inappropriate, that's for sure.  He should have been notified before the media got hold of it but then again leaks are everywhere right now as people try to sabotage the administration so they may have just wanted to be out in front of it and exert some control over the message before the spin and fake news teams did the nasty on it.

I think if they'd been critical of Comey or immediately fired him, you'd be asking the exact same questions for the exact same reasons.  In short, whatever Trump does is wrong is the mindset of the establishment (left and right) and those that opposed him. If he did not fire Comey, there was some secret and nefarious reason.  If he fired Comey, there is some secret and nefarious reason.
One way to avoid accusations of a hidden agenda is to consistent. If he'd criticized Comey for the email issue before the Russian probe, there would be fewer questions. Just because there will always partisan criticism doesn't mean all criticism is partisan.

Though firing the head of the FBI while you're under investigation is always going to leave you open to criticism. A fact which apparently eluded the administration.

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2017, 04:02:30 PM »
Though firing the head of the FBI while you're under investigation is always going to leave you open to criticism. A fact which apparently eluded the administration.
The investigation began in October of last year, likely earlier but that's the earliest media reference I can find, well before the election at any rate.  Trump could not have ever fired Comey before becoming president and having the authority to do so.  Consequently, the criticism on this is a hollow criticism considering the viral media and political demand for Comey's firing until this week.

NobleHunter

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2017, 04:44:06 PM »
The investigation may have opened before Comey's press conference, true. But when did Trump find out? He  also could criticized it in the immediate  reaction. Instead, he's been praising Comey for months.

Also, please note I said criticize, not fire. Which Trump, as any private citizen, had the authority to do so.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2017, 11:18:36 PM »
The memo the deputy attorney general wrote is a fine justification but it was all known information. It literally hinged on public statements by Comey.  Therefore the timing is strange.  Trump could have fired him the day he took office if he felt that Comey had behaved unethically.  However he waited until a key moment in the investigation into his campaign to fire the man overseeing the investigation.  It doesn't end the investigation but it certainly could be and likely is perceived as a shot across the bow of the people doing the investigating. 

Also at various points during the campaign Trump praised Comey for many of the same actions he fired him for.  If you don't find this at least a little bit suspicious then you are really too trusting of Trump.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2017, 11:16:19 AM »
Why is it such a surprise that some things are timed in a way that you won't understand? Maybe Comey told Trump to f**k himself the other day and got his butt fired. Who knows. The point is that his firing was well-deserved and if it was only a question of when, and not if, then it doesn't really matter if it was delayed somewhat. Even if Trump's own reasons for firing him aren't the ones I would have used, nevertheless he doesn't belong in that office one way or the other. He should have resigned anyhow right after the election.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2017, 12:13:40 PM »
Maybe, Fenring, but maybe he was upset because Comey wouldn't do and say everything that he wanted him to.

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Trump was angry that Comey would not support his baseless claim that President Barack Obama had his campaign offices wiretapped. Trump was frustrated when Comey revealed in Senate testimony the breadth of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s effort to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. And he fumed that Comey was giving too much attention to the Russia probe and not enough to investigating leaks to journalists.

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Comey’s appearances at congressional hearings caused even more tension between the White House and FBI, as Trump administration officials were angered that the director’s statements increased, rather than diminished, public attention on the Russia probe, officials said.

Comey's firing came days after he requested more resources for the Russia probe.  It seems like Trump and his Administration is directly trying to squelch the Russia probe.

Which is why the true and accurate reason for Trump firing Comey is important.  If Trump is trying to stop the Russia probe, we need to know that.  Or at least we need to eliminate that as a reason.

And if he is trying to stop the Russia probe, then we need to know why he is trying.

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2017, 02:27:51 PM »
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If Trump is trying to stop the Russia probe, we need to know that.
This probe has been going for over 6 months and found nothing so far.  What could possibly make you think there's something to it beyond the wishful thinking of the media and the left?


Clinton fired Sessions.  He did it the day before the discovery of Vince Foster's body - Foster was likely dead or within hours of it at the time of Sessions' firing.  If Clinton was trying to head off an investigation of Foster's death, nobody really cared to ask.

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2017, 02:38:57 PM »
Comey's firing came days after he requested more resources for the Russia probe.

Actually, no.  That's not accurate:
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FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe said he is “not aware” of former Director James Comey requesting additional resources for the Russia probe, conflicting with reporting by the New York Times.

During the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, Sen. Susan Collins asked McCabe if he could confirm reports that Comey requested resources from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for the Russia investigation just a few days before he was fired.

McCabe explained that not only was he “not aware” of such a request, but that the FBI makes resource requests to Congress, not the Office of the Attorney General.

Additionally, McCabe believes the U.S.-Russia investigation is already “adequately resourced.”

In addition, Sen. Chuck Grassley has said:
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“Shortly after Director Comey briefed us, I tweeted that he should be transparent. I said he should tell the public what he told Senator Feinstein and me about whether the FBI is or is not investigating the President,” Grassley said.

Trump fired Comey on Tuesday. In a letter to Comey, Trump claimed that the newly fired FBI chief had told him on three separate occasions that he was not a target of the bureau’s probe.

“On Tuesday, the President’s letter said that Director Comey told him he was not under investigation. Senator Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the President’s statement.”

So this thing about asking for more resources is actually the fake news that feeds your prejudice, precisely as I warned.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2017, 04:13:40 PM »
According to the original New York Times article, Comey stated to a number of Senators, apparently in a closed-door meeting, that he had made the request.  And it is not clear that he actually requested FBI resources:

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At the meeting with the senators, Mr. Comey said he had made the request because he believed the Justice Department had not dedicated enough resources to the investigation, a fact partly stemming from the unusual situation under which the inquiry was being run.
(Emphasis mine.)

So whether FBI resources come only from Congress is not germane if he was asking for the Justice Department to put more of their resources on the probe.

And while McCabe may be unaware, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

So at this time, I wouldn't jump to any firm conclusion that the story is "fake news."  Senators heard Comey say he made the request.  They can collaborate it if they choose to.  Unless, of course, Comey was lying.  But then so could McCabe.  And we know President Trump never lets the facts interfere with his prejudices and beliefs. :)

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This probe has been going for over 6 months and found nothing so far.  What could possibly make you think there's something to it beyond the wishful thinking of the media and the left?

The fact that the FBI hasn't completed the probe yet. :D  After all, Watergate took something like 2 years before it was over.  Why are you in such a hurry to have to closed? ;)

NobleHunter

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2017, 04:19:25 PM »
And how long did Benghazi take?

Seriati

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2017, 05:51:29 PM »
According to the original New York Times article, Comey stated to a number of Senators, apparently in a closed-door meeting, that he had made the request.

And, notwithstanding the NYT's negligent reporting on that issue, they knew at the time that the Justice Department had released a statement that no such request had been made by Comey (widely reported by the way if you read past the headlines and the leader paragraphs).  Couple that with NO ACTUAL QUOTE from Comey or anyone else on the record that he did make such a request and noting that the acting head of the FBI that such a request would be unusual (why exactly would the Director of the FBI need money to assign more of his thousands of agents?), and you get essentially a fake news item.

You actually believe this occurred, probably that it's indisputable it occurred, and there's no real reason or basis to that belief.

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And while McCabe may be unaware, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

So you concede that notwithstanding a lack of evidence it's reasonable to believe Obama wiretapped Trump as well?  Or is the no proof and all contrary facts to the contrary standard of evidence only a reasonable basis for belief when its anti-Trump?

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So at this time, I wouldn't jump to any firm conclusion that the story is "fake news."  Senators heard Comey say he made the request.  They can collaborate it if they choose to.  Unless, of course, Comey was lying.  But then so could McCabe.  And we know President Trump never lets the facts interfere with his prejudices and beliefs. :)

It's fake news when the "story" contradicts the actual facts available and there is no credible reason to believe it.  At best, the Comey asked for more resources line should have been in the back paragraphs rather than the headline.

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This probe has been going for over 6 months and found nothing so far.  What could possibly make you think there's something to it beyond the wishful thinking of the media and the left?

The fact that the FBI hasn't completed the probe yet. :D  After all, Watergate took something like 2 years before it was over.  Why are you in such a hurry to have to closed? ;)

The actual FACT is that to even open a probe there should have been some evidence.  So far, no evidence has shown up, and we have multiple people (some in the know) who've said they've seen no evidence of collusion.  Hanging your hat on innuendo and lack of denials as proof that there is a reason to investigate is just silly.

I also remember how high an evidentiary standard you demanded during the Benghazi matter, even rejecting email admissions, and it's entirely inconsistent with your position here where there is literally no public evidence or even plausible accusation.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2017, 06:41:09 PM »
Seriati, you are overstating the lack of basis.

According to the article, "four congressional officials" said that Comey had talked to Rosenstein.  This is far more evidence than Trump had for his delusion that he was personally wiretapped by Obama.  (That's the thing about professional news organizations--they line up their evidence before opening their mouths. :) )

Now with contradictory evidence, there is doubt about what is true.  I am not saying that it is indisputable that Comey asked Rosenstein for additional Justice Department resources.  But is it disputable that he did.  To label it "fake news" is indisputably ignoring the evidence for it to have occurred, and shows quite a bit of partisan wishful thinking.

Which is the worst thing about the "fake news" meme--it is being used to discount opposing facts.  And the fact is that four congressional sources said that Comey said he asked for the resources.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2017, 08:40:07 PM »
Seriati, you are overstating the lack of basis.

Not really. I've not seen any legitimate basis thus far, even after some looking. There was more connection between the Clintons and Russia than Trump and Russia by far. The upshot to me is that during the primaries Trump announced he would seek good relations with Russia rather than "punch Putin right in the nose" as other candidates spewed, and his opponents no doubt took that claim and put it in their pocket for later use in case Trump started being successful. Oh, any world leader may (and should) make deals with foreign powers to mutual advantage. But a Russian stooge? What a joke. I'm into conspiracy theories and in terms of credibility I'd put this one roughly on par with Hillary being one of the lizard people. Oh, it sounds good and it fits, but it's not very likely.

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Now with contradictory evidence, there is doubt about what is true.  I am not saying that it is indisputable that Comey asked Rosenstein for additional Justice Department resources.  But is it disputable that he did.  To label it "fake news" is indisputably ignoring the evidence for it to have occurred, and shows quite a bit of partisan wishful thinking.

This is simple burden shifting. Claiming that it can't definitively be shown to be false is not a legitimate basis for a claim. You are the one who needs to be show strong evidence. I fully understand if you have a hunch despite the pool of evidence being sparse, but then the issue should be framed as your hunch rather than as some kind of fact. I try to make that distinction when I post, although I'm sure we can all do better at that.

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Which is the worst thing about the "fake news" meme--it is being used to discount opposing facts.  And the fact is that four congressional sources said that Comey said he asked for the resources.

I think you're grasping a bit here. It's true that the term "fake news" is now being employed as a blanket term to refer to any news story one doesn't like. Nevertheless, if you have a few individuals making a claim (effectively hearsay) about what Comey said versus a lack of any official statement requesting resources or clear evidence that Comey was personally making waves and was silenced for it, then what you're really doing is contributing to the very thing Democrats hated when Republicans did it to Bill Clinton, which is making any claim possible and hoping one of them at random will stick. The premise seems to be that Trump is guilty, and it's only a matter of figuring out how to prove it and which thing to catch him on. The meme that he's corrupt seems to have already come and gone swiftly enough that many people no doubt assume he's probably guilty of something or other. And maybe he is, but if you want to be on the lookout for overreach of corruption it's really bad to start off by creating short circuits and assigning nefarious motives to things like personnel changes. Anything's possible, but I get the feeling that you're one of many who are actively waiting for 'the story' that finally shows Trump doing something villainous; the narrative is presented and the first thought is "is this finally it? have we got him?" Surely even you must admit how bizarre it is for there to have been talk since election day of impeaching Trump. If I were you I'd be awfully suspicious of being preyed upon by 'news' articles seeking to give you your wish.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2017, 10:38:23 PM »
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Sorry, but after the disclosures and comments he recently made to Congress, Comey was damaged goods. He may not have been particularly partisan in his politics, but his decision making process looks to have been strongly skewed by politics all the same.

I would be interested to know why you considered him "damaged goods" after his recent comments to Congress.  There didn't seem to be any new information about his decision making process that we didn't already know.

Anthony Wiener had in his possession, Highly Classified correspondence intended for Hillary Clinton. Classified information he never should have had access to, even if he held clearance for it at some point in time. (No "Need to know")

Further compounding things, is the matter he still had copies of said highly classified materials years after the fact, on a (personal?) laptop computer no less.

And when directly asked about that, Comey was completely flummoxed at the idea that there might be something wrong with that situation.

As someone who has handled classified information at much lower levels in the food chain in the past, that treatment of things is making the entire national security apparatus a bigger joke than it already was after multiple rounds with Wikileaks.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 10:47:55 PM by TheDeamon »

JoshCrow

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2017, 10:00:11 AM »
The premise seems to be that Trump is guilty, and it's only a matter of figuring out how to prove it and which thing to catch him on. The meme that he's corrupt seems to have already come and gone swiftly enough that many people no doubt assume he's probably guilty of something or other. And maybe he is, but if you want to be on the lookout for overreach of corruption it's really bad to start off by creating short circuits and assigning nefarious motives to things like personnel changes. Anything's possible, but I get the feeling that you're one of many who are actively waiting for 'the story' that finally shows Trump doing something villainous

How about him today publicly threatening Comey on Twitter?

Maybe you're better off not defending the guy, Fenring. Sometimes people really do get all the respect they deserve.

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2017, 10:06:05 AM »
How about him today publicly threatening Comey on Twitter?
The tweet in question:
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James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

What is the threat here? Is Trump saying he'll send hitmen after Comey? No, of course not.  He's merely warning Comey that any recordings he's made, if Comey made them, will be not be taken "lying down", that Trump will fire back.  That's not a threat, it's a bit hyperbolic and Trump really needs to work on that, perhaps getting off twitter a bit.  To say this is a "threat" is more confirmation bias than anything else.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2017, 10:11:54 AM »
JoshCrow,

Can you provide a link to the threat in question? I didn't hear about it. Is it the one Crunch just posted?

JoshCrow

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2017, 10:42:02 AM »
JoshCrow,

Can you provide a link to the threat in question? I didn't hear about it. Is it the one Crunch just posted?

Yes, Crunch has it. On the same day Trump also threatened to cancel all White House press briefings.

JoshCrow

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2017, 10:48:33 AM »
What is the threat here? Is Trump saying he'll send hitmen after Comey? No, of course not.  He's merely warning Comey that any recordings he's made, if Comey made them, will be not be taken "lying down", that Trump will fire back.  That's not a threat, it's a bit hyperbolic and Trump really needs to work on that, perhaps getting off twitter a bit.  To say this is a "threat" is more confirmation bias than anything else.

The threat is that there will be consequences. Nothing more, nothing specific, and nothing less. But a threat is a threat.

I don't understand why there is this need to apologize for him, that he should "work on that". He doesn't deserve apologetic defenses from people. He's the POTUS, not some amateur on his first night doing stand-up for a live audience. The scandal is that a person with these glaring psychological problems has been elevated to power - the only thing to do is to continue to point to unacceptable behavior from the President.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 10:51:58 AM by JoshCrow »

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2017, 11:49:53 AM »
I don't understand why there is this need to apologize for him, that he should "work on that". He doesn't deserve apologetic defenses from people. He's the POTUS, not some amateur on his first night doing stand-up for a live audience. The scandal is that a person with these glaring psychological problems has been elevated to power - the only thing to do is to continue to point to unacceptable behavior from the President.

Isn't this a separate, but also important, problem? If Comey was dismissed properly, AND Trump mouthed off unnecessarily, then those are two different issues. I'm all for calling into question how Trump comports himself as POTUS, but that's different from assuming that because he mouthed off on Twitter that he was *threatening* Comey, and that therefore firing him was some sort of cover-up or conspiracy. I would be interested to hear any reason why Comey should have retained his job after last year. He should have stepped down when his own agency disowned him.

As for Trump's tweet, what do you think the "threat" amounted to? It sounded like he was deciding to make something or other public in advance to prevent Comey doing something behind his back; this way there would be a recorded statement to the effect that Comey was considering doing something illicit to do some damage. This is only one possibility, of course, but given what Trump said it seems to be what he was communicating; i.e. don't do anything stupid, because I'll make certain the public will know about it. If this is what it was then, I guess yeah, that's a 'threat', but it's the correct kind of threat - pointing out that there will be consequences to taking harmful actions. Was your takeaway from the Tweet that Trump was threatening to beat Comey up or something? That's not the kind of threat you'd want to make public! So it's a bit misleading to state that Trump 'threatened' Comey over Twitter, as if it's obvious that means that he meant Comey harm.

JoshCrow

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2017, 12:01:21 PM »
This is only one possibility, of course, but given what Trump said it seems to be what he was communicating; i.e. don't do anything stupid, because I'll make certain the public will know about it.

Actually you have it backwards. The threat was "don't let the public know about it, or I'll do something stupid." It was about the possibility of leaking their conversations to the public (which I believe you just called a 'harmful action' and indicated that this is a correct threat to make... are you really advocating the government secrecy position?)

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2017, 12:23:50 PM »
This is only one possibility, of course, but given what Trump said it seems to be what he was communicating; i.e. don't do anything stupid, because I'll make certain the public will know about it.

Actually you have it backwards. The threat was "don't let the public know about it, or I'll do something stupid." It was about the possibility of leaking their conversations to the public (which I believe you just called a 'harmful action' and indicated that this is a correct threat to make... are you really advocating the government secrecy position?)

That's not what the Tweet reads as at all. By saying Comey better hope there aren't 'tapes' of their conversations, he was either (a) poking fun, or otherwise referencing, the alleged wiretapping he accused Obama of doing, or (b) is saying that he believes Comey might be going to the press with fake information about conversations they had, and that if there's a recording Trump will totally bust him on it by turning over the contents of the actual conversation. Maybe there's another possible interpretation, but I think that any reasonable reading of the Tweet comes off as trying to warn Comey away from doing something stupid or illicit, rather than Trump threatening his safety over revealing something compromising about Trump. The tweet doesn't read as the latter to me at all (although I guess it's conceivable).

And no, I didn't say that this particular threat is the "correct" kind of threat. I said that threatening to take corrective measures should someone try something illicit is the correct kind of threat to make. If a police officer says to you, for instance, "if you steal that money I will arrest you", technically the officer is "threatening" someone, but not in any way that's wrong. He's outlining what the consequences will be of stepping out of proper line. The kind of threat you should be concerned about is an illegal threat, like extortion, blackmail, or a threat of violence. If there is a conspiracy and a whistleblower wants to come forward and is threatened, then that is also a kind of threat to worry about since it impairs transparency and potentially democracy as well. But saying "don't leak disinformation to the press or I'll call you out publicly on it" sounds like a correct kind of threat to me, whether or not it is, in fact, what was happening here. Announcing that you'll take measures to prevent malignant behavior is basically good strategy. On the other hand, if Comey was going to do something honest and honorable and Trump was bullying him into stopping, then that would indeed be worrisome. But that's not how the tweet sounds to me.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2017, 01:00:03 PM »
JoshCrow,

Can you provide a link to the threat in question? I didn't hear about it. Is it the one Crunch just posted?

Yes, Crunch has it. On the same day Trump also threatened to cancel all White House press briefings.

I'm with you on the first "threat" even if it barely qualifies as one, still stupid to tweet, but this one is utter nonsense.  Here's his actual quote:

Quote
As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!  Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???

Given he's being lambasted for his surrogates having stale information because he moves too quickly, what's unreasonable about that snarky statement?  No reasonable person (ie only the left wing media) would interpret that as a "threat to cancel all White House press briefings."

JoshCrow

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2017, 02:01:06 PM »
Quote
As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!  Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???

Given he's being lambasted for his surrogates having stale information because he moves too quickly, what's unreasonable about that snarky statement?  No reasonable person (ie only the left wing media) would interpret that as a "threat to cancel all White House press briefings."

Dude, it literally describes canceling all White House press briefings because he can't get his surrogates in order. It's *right there*. Now you're telling me I'm an "unreasonable person"? His words say what they do and you can't really change that by pretending that the most basic, literal reading of them is "unreasonable".

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2017, 02:06:05 PM »
The tweet comes up as petulant.  Can we agree on that much?

You halfway expect Comey to tweet back, "okay, momma"

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2017, 03:51:15 PM »
I don't understand why there is this need to apologize for him, that he should "work on that". He doesn't deserve apologetic defenses from people. He's the POTUS, not some amateur on his first night doing stand-up for a live audience. The scandal is that a person with these glaring psychological problems has been elevated to power - the only thing to do is to continue to point to unacceptable behavior from the President.
It's not even close to an attempt to apologize for Trump.  It's about people convinced that Trump has "glaring psychological problems" that he has a "delusion", that this was a  "Saturday Night Massacre" and "everyone I've talked to believe it". It's not apologizing for Trump to point out what has become almost an obsession for his detractors to create stories out of nothing to feed a confirmation bias.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2017, 04:29:24 PM »
Here's a teeny bit of info about Comey's relationship with the government recently - a memo written to Comey by the Senate Judiciary Committee asking him to answer for apparent partisan conflicts of interest between the FBI leadership and high-level investigations (such as email-gate and the Russia investigation):

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2017-03-28%20CEG%20to%20FBI%20(McCabe%20Conflict%20in%20Trump%20Associates%20Investigation).pdf

Quote
According to public reports, the FBI agreed to pay the author of the unsubstantiated dossier
alleging a conspiracy between Trump associates and the Russians. It reportedly agreed to pay the
author, Christopher Steele, to continue investigating Mr. Trump. Clinton associates reportedly paid
Mr. Steele to create this political opposition research dossier against Mr. Trump. The FBI has failed to
publicly reply to my March 6 letter asking about those reports. That leaves serious questions about the
FBI’s independence from politics unanswered.

Mr. McCabe’s appearance of a partisan conflict of interest relating to Clinton associates only
magnifies the importance of those questions.

Aside from the fact that as director of the FBI Comey is ultimately responsible for these matters, there is also the possible insinuation that he knew all about it and let it happen. That could have a partisan interpretation, or just a cover-up one where he was protecting FBI members from exposure. Either way, the matter outlined in this letter is just the sort of behind-the-scenes issue of which there may be many in play, and which isn't exactly widely reported to the public. It's very hard for us to determine the possible causes of Comey's dismissal without a complete knowledge (which we lack) of all these other factors. That's why it's so strange for people to feel like they "know" that it was probably to squash the Russia investigation (as if it would even have that effect).

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2017, 04:36:38 PM »
I'll just quickly add that my comments shouldn't be taken to mean that the firing definitely wasn't related to Trump trying to bully Comey, or had nothing to do with the Russia investigation. Rather, it seems to me that Comey had been surrounded by questionable circumstances for a while and it should come as no surprise that his term there is over. Now, Trump has actually said that the Russia investigation was part of the reason for the firing, but we should be cautious in interpreting exactly what this means. If it means he believed that Comey was conducting partisan hackery then that would actually be a reasonable reason to want him gone, whereas if he knew there was actually guilt to be found and was trying to cover his own tracks then the conspiracy angle would hold some water. But Trump's admission doesn't, in itself, imply that Trump was trying to cover his tracks in a Russian conspiracy plot.

Since the Senate Judiciary letter above may suggest that Comey was, in fact, a possible party to partisan hackery (which seemed evident to me during the election), I would say that this seems like the most likely explanation to me; i.e. that Trump didn't want someone in bed with the Democrats heading the FBI.

Crunch

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2017, 05:04:44 PM »
Perhaps another theory for the firing.  Speaking on Comey's dismissal:
Quote
Brian Weidner, a veteran former FBI agent, suggested both the case and the immunity deals struck during that investigation could be revisited.

"I would be surprised if they did not review all the investigations regarding HRC and come up with [a] conclusion regarding prosecution. The statute of limitations hasn't come into play yet," he said in an email to Fox News.

As for the immunity deals struck with key players in the Clinton orbit, he noted those deals are "with the government, so in theory it wouldn't change."

However, he wrote, "a new AG and new director may take a good look at the entire case, and if anyone who received immunity did not live up to their agreement, like Huma [Abedin] with the classified documents on her computer, the deal is off and they are potential targets again."

Comey was the original "fixer" for Lynch after the deal made with Bill Clinton on that runway. With Comey out, the FBI is free to begin revisiting Hillary Clinton's criminal negligence.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #39 on: May 12, 2017, 08:37:58 PM »
This is only one possibility, of course, but given what Trump said it seems to be what he was communicating; i.e. don't do anything stupid, because I'll make certain the public will know about it.

Actually you have it backwards. The threat was "don't let the public know about it, or I'll do something stupid." It was about the possibility of leaking their conversations to the public (which I believe you just called a 'harmful action' and indicated that this is a correct threat to make... are you really advocating the government secrecy position?)

That's not what the Tweet reads as at all. By saying Comey better hope there aren't 'tapes' of their conversations, he was either (a) poking fun, or otherwise referencing, the alleged wiretapping he accused Obama of doing, or (b) is saying that he believes Comey might be going to the press with fake information about conversations they had, and that if there's a recording Trump will totally bust him on it by turning over the contents of the actual conversation. Maybe there's another possible interpretation, but I think that any reasonable reading of the Tweet comes off as trying to warn Comey away from doing something stupid or illicit, rather than Trump threatening his safety over revealing something compromising about Trump. The tweet doesn't read as the latter to me at all (although I guess it's conceivable).

Honestly, I can read the tweet either way. That the phone conversations between Trump and Comey contained content that would be damaging to Trump and he was implicitly threatening "consequences" should such a recording surface(which strikes me as a monumentally stupid move to make, you're basically daring them to act at that point). OR Trump thinks the phone conversations between himself and Comey would be far more damaging toward Comey, and Trump was indirectly threatening to "nuke Comey from orbit" should he both cross a certain line and such recordings were found to exist.

Quote
And no, I didn't say that this particular threat is the "correct" kind of threat. I said that threatening to take corrective measures should someone try something illicit is the correct kind of threat to make. If a police officer says to you, for instance, "if you steal that money I will arrest you", technically the officer is "threatening" someone, but not in any way that's wrong. He's outlining what the consequences will be of stepping out of proper line. The kind of threat you should be concerned about is an illegal threat, like extortion, blackmail, or a threat of violence.

Yup pretty much. Flip a coin, with this president and at this point in time, unless you happen to have known him personally for years, it's likely to give you a more accurate read on what's really going on than anything you're going to find combing through press reports.

Quote
If there is a conspiracy and a whistleblower wants to come forward and is threatened, then that is also a kind of threat to worry about since it impairs transparency and potentially democracy as well. But saying "don't leak disinformation to the press or I'll call you out publicly on it" sounds like a correct kind of threat to me, whether or not it is, in fact, what was happening here. Announcing that you'll take measures to prevent malignant behavior is basically good strategy. On the other hand, if Comey was going to do something honest and honorable and Trump was bullying him into stopping, then that would indeed be worrisome. But that's not how the tweet sounds to me.

Yup, but the media has an ongoing narrative that's been running for nearly a year now. Trump is a ruthless authoritarian, and so was Hitler, ergo Trump is a modern day incarnation of Hitler. So every move he makes in regards to governing the nation is him progressing one step further in his plan to have a Krystallnacht and terminate the Weimar Republic as well as rewrite the Constitution to suit his own nefarious interests.

Pete at Home

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2017, 03:43:56 AM »
Yeah, it's amazing what you can pass off to a nation of cultural historical and geographical illiterates.  Folks who don't grasp, for example, that Hitler was a master of the German language.  Or that his success stemmed from Germany having been broken by the international community after World War I. 

Trump is no wizard of the language, and the US is hardly Weimar Germany.

As for Reichstag fire incidents, which everyone is predicting, hell, man, more US presidents than not have had Reichtag fire incidents.  Clinton- Oklahoma City - Janet Reno.  Bush - 9/11-Patriot Act.  Need I go on?  FDR, Lincoln, Jefferson.  Not a lot of presidents who didn't use a crisis to increase their power.  That's virtually part of the presidential job description.

yossarian22c

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2017, 10:00:59 PM »
Quote
HOLT: So, you had already made the decision.

TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

HOLT: So, there was...

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: They -- he made a recommendation. He's highly respected. Very good guy, very smart guy.

And the Democrats like him. The Republicans like him.

He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. ...

So according to Trump the firing was related to the Russia investigation.

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2017, 11:34:02 PM »
Quote
And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. ...

So according to Trump the firing was related to the Russia investigation.

The funnier thing is given Trump has demonstrated repeatedly he doesn't give a ____ about "optics"  there probably is a better than even chance that Trump is actually honest in regards to his personal dealings with Russia. There's nothing there, and he *bleeping* *bleep* well knows it, so to ____ with everyone else, he's going to do something about the "witch-hunters" that have been set after him, because he isn't a witch.

Problem is, he's causing people to further entrench in the idea that he "must be hiding something" because he keeps going after the "witch hunters" (that nominally work for him at that!) that keep getting into his personal space.

This is comedy written on scale never conceived of previous. Not even Mel Brooks would have considered something like this until this past year.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 11:37:22 PM by TheDeamon »

Seriati

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #43 on: May 15, 2017, 09:56:18 AM »
Quote
As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!  Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future “press briefings” and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???

Given he's being lambasted for his surrogates having stale information because he moves too quickly, what's unreasonable about that snarky statement?  No reasonable person (ie only the left wing media) would interpret that as a "threat to cancel all White House press briefings."

Dude, it literally describes canceling all White House press briefings because he can't get his surrogates in order. It's *right there*. Now you're telling me I'm an "unreasonable person"? His words say what they do and you can't really change that by pretending that the most basic, literal reading of them is "unreasonable".

I have to have to apologize to you on this one.  When I read that tweet it was so obviously farcical that I couldn't imagine anyone taking it seriously.  However, it appears it was intended to be taken literally.  Not a good week to be the President, or to be a supporter of policies he "agrees" with.  He's a walking strawman that undermines good policies and positions by making them all about himself and then pressing the case in the stupidest way possible.

It's been said many times but he needs to lay off the tweets.  I know its hard but trying to "win" every news cycle, as those of you who posted on forums for long enough know, only leaves you having to defend ridiculous positions from time to time.

DonaldD

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #44 on: May 15, 2017, 12:46:09 PM »
Props, Seriati.  I actually read it the same way (purely snark).  Maybe Trump read a re-tweet and thought it was a great idea...

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2017, 02:10:52 PM »
Quote
He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. ...

So according to Trump the firing was related to the Russia investigation.

Just so we can all be clear about exactly what Trump is saying here, the best rendering of this quote isn't "because of the Russia investigation I decided to fire Comey", but rather "I was going to fire him anyhow, and once I had decided to do it now I felt that it would also alleviate this Russia nonsense." It's easy enough to suspect Trump isn't being honest here, which is fine, but I don't think it's entirely honest to take this quote as meaning that he got rid of Comey because of the Russian investigation. At least, it's not accurate to claim that Trump admitted this was the cause. It might have been related, insofar as the timing of getting rid of him now might help dispense with the witch hunt (we assume charitably for the moment) , but at least according to Trump it was a question of when, not if.

NobleHunter

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2017, 02:51:53 PM »
Quote
He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself -- I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. ...

So according to Trump the firing was related to the Russia investigation.

Just so we can all be clear about exactly what Trump is saying here, the best rendering of this quote isn't "because of the Russia investigation I decided to fire Comey", but rather "I was going to fire him anyhow, and once I had decided to do it now I felt that it would also alleviate this Russia nonsense." It's easy enough to suspect Trump isn't being honest here, which is fine, but I don't think it's entirely honest to take this quote as meaning that he got rid of Comey because of the Russian investigation. At least, it's not accurate to claim that Trump admitted this was the cause. It might have been related, insofar as the timing of getting rid of him now might help dispense with the witch hunt (we assume charitably for the moment) , but at least according to Trump it was a question of when, not if.
Also worth noting that this directly contradicts the official explanation for firing Comey.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #47 on: May 15, 2017, 02:54:09 PM »
Also worth noting that this directly contradicts the official explanation for firing Comey.

I don't think at this point we should expect actual transparency about these things. They tell us what they want to tell us, and it's unlikely we are getting the real story. For my part I'm not even bothering to try to guess the specifics on this one.

NobleHunter

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #48 on: May 15, 2017, 04:48:14 PM »
I don't think at this point we should expect actual transparency about these things. They tell us what they want to tell us, and it's unlikely we are getting the real story. For my part I'm not even bothering to try to guess the specifics on this one.
I just want them to be consistent. It'd be nice if they demonstrated at least basic competence once in a while.

ETA: I <3 the edit feature. I've been sucked into another board that still does email so there's no way to edit anything after it's posted. Even though I'm using a perfectly sensible UBB interface.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 04:50:54 PM by NobleHunter »

Fenring

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Re: Trump Fires FBI Directer Comey
« Reply #49 on: May 15, 2017, 04:53:17 PM »
I don't think at this point we should expect actual transparency about these things. They tell us what they want to tell us, and it's unlikely we are getting the real story. For my part I'm not even bothering to try to guess the specifics on this one.
I just want them to be consistent. It'd be nice if they demonstrated at least basic competence once in a while.

Since Trump has a tendency to mouth of without thinking, he's probably not prone to the usual policy of everyone making sure their stories line up when presenting a narrative. So his sloppy communications may sometimes serve as a kind of ironic unintended transparency, assuming he's not just being deceptive.