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Thomas Gallatin / May 12, 2017

Trump’s Statements Add Fuel to Controversy

His contradiction of his staff and vice president on the Comey firing don’t help dispel the MSM conspiracy narrative.

The fallout over Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is beginning to resemble a daytime soap opera. Democrats have strategically boxed Trump in so no matter what he does, it’s further “evidence” supporting their collusion-with-Russia narrative. With the mainstream media presuming the validity of that conspiracy theory, any action or non-action by Trump suddenly becomes evidence of covering up a “crime.” What crime exactly? Well, it would seem the best answer is the fact that Trump won the election. Evidently, that’s criminal enough for the Leftmedia and Democrats to demand investigations into unsubstantiated allegations.

The trouble is, Trump isn’t helping himself. Thursday evening, in an interview with NBC News, Trump flat out contradicted his White House staff’s and Vice President Mike Pence’s explanation of the reasoning behind the decision to dismiss Comey.

According to statements from the White House immediately following the firing, the reason the FBI director had been let go was primarily due to recommendations from the Justice Department, particularly based on Comey’s handling of the Clinton email probe. Pence corroborated that account, stating earlier Thursday: “Let me be very clear that the President’s decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interests of the American people and to ensuring that the FBI has the trust and confidence of the people of this nation.”

Then came Trump’s Thursday evening interview. In typical Trump style, he ineloquently expressed a totally different story behind his decision to remove Comey. He stated, “I was going to fire Comey. Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.” The obvious question then arises: Why now? What transpired to bring him to make the decision?

Here’s where Trump’s explanation just really doesn’t add up. He says, “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, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.’” He’s entirely accurate in his assessment of the Democrat narrative being utter nonsense, but that still doesn’t explain his motivation for canning Comey or the timing of it. Nor does it explain why he’s playing right into Democrat hands by saying the Russia angle prompted him to do it.

Another comment by Trump may come closest to answering the question. In evaluating Comey, Trump said, “Look, he’s a showboat. He’s a grandstander. The FBI has been in turmoil. You know that. I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago — it was in virtual turmoil. Less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.” Maybe Trump witnessed Comey’s testimony last week, in which he explained his decisions for not recommending prosecution of Hillary Clinton. Perhaps that rubbed Trump the wrong way and he decided it was time.

Unfortunately, the lack of a cohesive and consistent statement from Trump and his staff has served to add fuel to a controversy he wanted to dispel. If it seemed bad after Comey’s firing, it will only get worse with the Trump White House failing to keep its story straight.

> Update:

Trump even tweeted this morning:

We have a better idea: Get the story straight the first time. The truth doesn’t change…

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