McCain’s Clarification Crystallizes Comey’s Asterisk

In Nation
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While his strange, meandering, rambling and (as even the senator himself all but admitted later) seemingly pointless questioning of former FBI director James Comey didn’t do much other than confuse the witness and the media at the time, Senator John McCain’s clarification issued hours after Thursday’s much anticipated hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee further illustrated a point I made in the latest edition of All Out Politics, my syndicated column.

From Twitter to Facebook, social media lit up with questions about the senior senator from Arizona’s mental state, following his queries of Comey.

No fan of the man who can’t seem to get enough of all things Russian while he simultaneously pays gratuitous lip service to putting “America First,” he being Donald J. Trump, of course, I’m nevertheless painfully aware of the fact that James B. Comey is probably the man this side of St. Petersburg most singularly responsible for giving us President Trump in the first place.

Am I glad Comey laid out some of the skin-crawling details about his short-lived tenure under Trump yesterday? Absolutely. Do I believe his accounts of the goings-on regarding possible obstruction of justice on the part of the president versus the White House’s ever-changing tales? Does the Donald wear a ridiculously long tie? Yes to both.

But do I appreciate James B. Comey’s “courage” standing up to Trump? Uh, no.

If you want to know what taking a courageous stance against a president of the United States looks like, look no further than former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Courage and strength are on display when you do something that scares the crap out of you despite your fear. Thursday, Comey admitted that if he had been a stronger man he would have stood up to Trump in real time when the president was allegedly acting inappropriately by asking him to stop investigating disgraced former national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn while he still had a job to lose, the way Ms. Yates did when she refused to carry out an unconstitutional order from the president.

In the end, Yates lost her job for standing up to the president. Comey’s first act of standing up directly to Donald Trump only came yesterday when he testified before senators. Ironically, or perhaps serendipitously, he too was fired by Trump even though he at first kept his opinion that the president was way out of line to himself.

But these alone are not necessarily reasons to find Comey a less-than-ideal foil to the historically contemptible and possibly treasonous Trump. Comey’s ever-maleable Boy Scout ethos is. Too bad McCain did such a bad job pointing that out yesterday at the hearing. John McCain did just fine, however, calling attention to Comey’s floating raft of double-standards and duplicity when he issued a clarification later in the day.

Check out my syndicated column, All Out Politics, at WeHoTimes.com, the newest publication to carry it. Find out why is headlined, James Comey: the Man with the Purple Asterisk.

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