A bizarre prequel to James Comey’s testimony on Thursday

The Senate Intelligence Committee held an open hearing to discuss Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) legislation with top intelligence officials this morning, with Adm. Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency,  Daniel Coats, the director of national intelligence, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

All four men refused to discuss their conversations with President Trump as described in the media, asserting that it was not appropriate to discuss “classified” matters in an open hearing.

All four men were asked and answered that Special Investigator Robert Mueller had not notified them of any limitations on their public testimony before the committee.

All four men were asked and answered that they had checked with White House counsel as to whether the president was going to assert executive privilege to prevent their testimony, and they testified that White House counsel had not gotten back to them prior to the hearing.

All four men said they would answer questions in the classified closed session hearing this afternoon — assuming White House counsel does not notify them of an assertion of executive privilege.

None offered any legal basis for their refusal to answer questions.

Rosenstein and McCabe simply asserted their departments’ usual line that they do not discuss ongoing investigations in open hearings (even though FBI Director James Comey did so recently, proving that there are exceptions to the rule).

“Is that the rule for the President of the United States as well?” Sen. Mark Warner responded. “Because that is what the questions are being asked about, reports that nobody has laid to rest here that the President intervened directly in an ongoing FBI investigation. And we’ve gotten no answer from any of you.”

The witnesses’ refusal to answer questions led to this heated exchange between Senator Angus King (I-ME) and witnesses, which largely sums up how the open hearing went this morning. ‘What you feel isn’t relevant’: Sen. Angus King grills intel leaders on whether Trump tried to influence them:

KING: What you feel isn’t relevant, admiral. What you feel is not the answer. The answer is, why are you not answering the questions? Is it an invocation of executive privilege. If there is, let’s hear about it. If there isn’t, answer the questions.

ROGERS: I stand by the comments I’ve made. I’m not interested in repeating myself, sir, and I don’t mean that in a contentious way.

KING: Well I do mean it in a contentious way, I don’t understand why you’re not answering our questions. You can’t — when you were confirmed, before the armed services committee you took an oath: “do you solemnly swear to give the committee the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God.” You answered yes to that.

ROGERS: And I’ve also answered that those conversations are classified and it is not appropriate in an open forum, to discuss those classified conversations.

KING: What is classified about a conversation involving whether or not you should intervene in the FBI investigation?

ROGERS: Sir, I stand by my previous comments.

KING: You swore that oath to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and today you are refusing to do so. What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?

COATS: I’m not sure I have a legal basis, but I’m more than willing to sit before this committee … during its investigative process in a closed session and answer your questions.

KING: Well we’re going to be having a closed session in a few hours. Do you commit to me that you’re going to answer these questions in a direct and unencumbered way?

COATS: I plan to do that but I do have to work through the legal counsel at the White House relative to whether or not they’re going to exercise executive [privilege].

Nowhere in their testimony did Coats or Rogers deny the president asked them to intervene in the FBI investigation.  They simply refused to answer questions about their conversations in an open session.

Unless there are leaks to the media from the closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee this afternoon, the public will not know what these men have had to say about their conversations with president Trump.

The Senate Intelligence Committee chairs should declassify this portion of their testimony this afternoon and release a transcript of their testimony because there is no legal justification for their refusal to answer questions in open session this morning.

Shortly after the open session concluded this morning, former FBI Director James Comey’s prepared remarks for the Senate Intelligence Committee for his testimony tomorrow were released to the media. This typically would not occur until a witness actually testifies. Comey reportedly asked for it to be released early. You can bet this will be part of the questioning in the closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee this afternoon.

The New York Times reports, Comey to Testify Trump Pressured Him to Say He Wasn’t Under Investigation:

Former F.B.I. director James B. Comey plans to tell senators on Thursday in highly anticipated testimony about a wide-ranging effort by President Trump to influence the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election, including repeatedly asking Mr. Comey to announce that the president was not personally under investigation.

In seven pages of written testimony made public on Wednesday afternoon by the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Comey outlined how Mr. Trump sought a pledge of loyalty and an end to the investigation into his national security adviser, and how the president questioned whether Mr. Comey, four years into a 10-year term, wanted to remain in his job. Mr. Comey wrote that he told Mr. Trump on at least one occasion in early January that he was not under investigation at that time.

Mr. Trump also asked Mr. Comey, in a previously undisclosed phone call on March 30, what could be done to “lift the cloud” over him from the investigation, because it was hurting his ability to govern, according to the remarks. But Mr. Comey will say that he was reluctant to make that announcement “for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.”

Mr. Comey’s dramatic recounting echoed memos he has written about his interactions with the president, some of which have been described to The New York Times, but it was the first detailed account directly from him about his service in the Trump administration until he was abruptly fired last month. Representatives for Mr. Comey asked the committee to release the testimony on Wednesday shortly before it was made public, according to people familiar with the sequence of events.

In the written testimony, Mr. Comey also disclosed that Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, is the subject of an investigation into whether he made false statements to the F.B.I. about his contacts with Russian officials. Mr. Flynn was interviewed by the F.B.I. at the White House in January about those interactions, shortly before he was removed by Mr. Trump.

Mr. Comey will tell senators that he wrote the first memo shortly after he initially met Mr. Trump, on Jan. 6, during the presidential transition.

In that meeting, Mr. Comey told the president-elect he was not under investigation; Mr. Trump did not ask but Mr. Comey “offered that assurance,” he said. He also briefed Mr. Trump on the contents of a dossier of salacious, unsubstantiated allegations that a former British spy believed the Russian government had collected on Mr. Trump.

“To ensure accuracy, I began to type it on a laptop in an F.B.I. vehicle outside Trump Tower the moment I walked out of the meeting,” Mr. Comey said. “Creating written records immediately after one-on-one conversations with Mr. Trump was my practice from that point forward.”

Weeks later, once Mr. Trump was in office, the president asked Mr. Comey about the dossier over dinner at the White House and “expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them,” Mr. Comey wrote.

The president told Mr. Comey he was considering asking him to investigate the material in the dossier, which included unproven allegations of videotaped encounters with prostitutes in Moscow, and prove that the described events did not happen. Mr. Comey said he advised the president to give the request “careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative.”

In the March phone call, Mr. Trump said he had nothing to do with Russia and had not been involved with prostitutes in Russia “and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia.”

Mr. Comey said the last time he had spoken with Mr. Trump was on April 11. Mr. Trump called to ask again when Mr. Comey planned to put out word that Mr. Trump was not under investigation.

Mr. Comey responded that he had passed the request on to his bosses at the Justice Department but had not heard back.

“He replied that ‘the cloud’ was getting in the way of his ability to do his job,” Mr. Comey wrote in his written testimony.

The president emphasized that he had been loyal to Mr. Comey.

“Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing, you know,” Mr. Trump said, according to Mr. Comey, who wrote that he had not replied or asked Mr. Trump what he meant by “that thing.”

That “thing” would be Trump’s public display of affection for Comey (video) on January 22, 2017. This is the same “thing” that Comey described made him feel uncomfortable and he tried to blend into the drapes so that Trump would not notice him. Where’s the love, bro?

Norman Eisen, a former White House ethics czar and ambassador to the Czech Republic during the Obama administration said Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony is “the equivalent of the Nixon tapes.” Ex-WH ethics czar: ‘This is the equivalent of the Nixon tapes’:

Eisen compared the news revealed in Comey’s testimony to former President Richard Nixon’s secret recording of his phone calls in meetings at the White House when he was in office, which eventually played a role in his resignation.

“This moves us into the same realm as Nixon’s obstruction, maybe worse,” he continued. “This is the equivalent of the Nixon tapes. We are headed into very, very choppy waters.”

“I think it’s remarkable,” Norman Eisen told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “Clearly Director Comey is looking ahead to the day beyond the hearing tomorrow when he may have to testify about this. Whether it’s in an obstruction proceeding, or an impeachment proceeding, or something else.”

UPDATE: CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says that the prepared remarks from former FBI Director James Comey establish obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

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Live television coverage begins at 6:00 a.m. Arizona time, with Comey’s testimony scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. Arizona time. Take a sick day and stay home for some must see TV.

There are media reports that Trump plans to live tweet during Comey’s testimony, which only gives the senators on the panel an opportunity to fact check his statements with Comey for rebuttal testimony in real time (and Comey has copious contemporaneous notes to refresh his recollection). This is an amazingly stupid move by Trump. Anyone advising him to do this is a fool.

I can’t imagine that any attorney wants to represent a client who engages in this kind of behavior. Trump is his own worst enemy and he will be his own undoing.

UPDATE: Former U.S. director of national intelligence James Clapper says events in Washington now are more serious than the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, and that it is imperative investigators get to the bottom of the Trump administration’s links with the Putin regime. James Clapper says Watergate ‘pales’ in comparison with Trump Russia scandal:

The former intelligence director was asked how current events compared to Watergate and he said the behaviour under scrutiny now was more serious. “I think you compare the two, that Watergate pales, really, in my view, compared to what we’re confronting now.”

* * *

Clapper told the National Press Club in Canberra it was “absolutely crucial for the United States, and for that matter for the world, for this presidency, for the Republicans, for the Democrats and for our nation at large, that we get to the bottom of this”.

“Is there a smoking gun with all the smoke? I don’t know the answer to that. I think it’s vital, though, we find that out.”

28 responses to “A bizarre prequel to James Comey’s testimony on Thursday

  1. New definition for Trump groupies. Source: Google.

    cy·ber·war·fare
    noun: cyber-warfare
    the use of computer technology to disrupt the activities of a state or organization, especially the deliberate attacking of information systems for strategic or military purposes.

    So, Trump groupies, allow me to help you out here as you struggle to defend your boy. Some of the GOP senators were asking Comey questions along the lines of, “Was any of this (Russian interference) effective”? And, of course, Comey had no evidence that it was.

    If that is your argument, then stuff it. Whether it worked or not or to what degree it was influential is not something that can be determined given the methods used (that we know about).

    It is the attack itself that matters. The Russians will get better at this, bet on it.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      The election of a corrupt Manhattan real estate developer turned reality TV game show host is causing us to all crack up.

      http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMms1702111

      I’ve always had a theory about American conservatives, since Patriotism, Christianity, and Capitalism are at odds with each other, they need to twist their brains into some unnatural shapes to make a coherent philosophy.

      And I have a theory that deep down inside, no matter how they flail and moan on the outside, they are deeply aware that the wealth of the US was built on slavery and genocide.

      I believe this causes them to act against their best interests, the “What’s Wrong With Kansas” thing, because they are subconsciously punishing themselves.

      Trump and his family have a long history of stealing from charities, for example, but conservatives don’t seem to care, even though this is a violation of the teachings of Jesus Christ, and since some of those charities involved veterans, that kinda’ throws Patriotism under the bus.

      The America First idea, that we take care of our own first, I agree with to a degree, but if we stop trading with countries with cheaper labor, we’re violating rules of Capitalism.

      We are no longer allowing the Invisible Hand of the Market to guide us.

      So in other words, Conservatives are cray-cray.

      • “And I have a theory that deep down inside, no matter how they flail and moan on the outside, they are deeply aware that the wealth of the US was built on slavery and genocide.

        So wrong, so often. Slavery had little to do with the wealth of the United States. The South made up only a small part of the wealth of the Country and it only lasted during the early days, not during the wealth building period of the Nation.

        Genocide never was a policy or even a desired outcome of the majority of people in the United States. In fact, our country always had an official policy of moving the Indians to reservations, NOT wiping them out. You, like most people who want reasons to hate America, confuse genocide (a policy of wiping out a separate race or indentifiable group of people) with historical happenstance (significant events that have occurred in history, sometimes by sheer inertia). What killed the indians was the epidemics and illnesses that came from contact with the Europeans. And before you spout off about the deliberate infecting of the Indians by Europeans, that has been traced back to a few reports from British soldiers in the early 1700s and was NOT a policy of anyone. Usually, by the time Europeans came into contact with new Indian Tribes, the ravages of sickness had already killed them off. The diseases and epidemics were carried by other Indians who had come into contact with Europeans and then came into contact with other Indians. As to the slaughter of each other, the Indians gave as well as they got. It was local and personal and NOT a policy. People in the East, who were not affected by the Indians wrote volumes of books on how the Natives were noble and should be assisted in living on reservartions and taken care of.

  2. Well, James Comey just finished his public testimony and it certainly doesn’t help Trump, to say the least. Let us just hope that Robert Mueller is as good as Comey believes him to be and the entire truth of this Russian attack on our 2016 presidential election will come to light.

    Aside from that, I was watching McCain interrogate Comey and I’ll just say it was worrisome. Old boy is struggling, to be sure. Should have retired last year.

    • Question for Trump supporters…

      Why is Trump so much in favor of lifting Russian sanctions when he most assuredly knows that the Russian government meddled in our presidential election?

      Comey could not have been more clear about this, the interference of the Russian GOVERNMENT.

      Oh BTW, Trump groupies, this meddling is not a small issue.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Trump is in favor of lifting the sanctions and doing Russia’s bidding for the same reason the White House beds have all been fitted with rubber sheets.

        A lot of the Trump/Russia dossier has been confirmed and that investigation is still ongoing.

        Trump let Lavrov and Kislyak into the White House because Putin asked.

        “He chose to receive him because Putin asked him to,” a White House spokesman told Politico.

        Trump is giving Putin his spy mansions back because the Russian embassy tweeted there would be trouble if he didn’t.

        “Last week, Russia’s U.S. embassy upped the ante. “Russia is seeking to return its diplomatic property in #US asap. Otherwise, we will have to take counter measures,” it tweeted.”

        Kompromat.

      • For Sure Not Tom

    • Yes, the groupies need to put on their thinking caps and figure out why innocent Baby Donald is so friendly with and so supportive of and so backchannel-ly with a foreign government that attacked our presidential election.

      Make it good, y’all.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Trump’s lawyers made a statement of cherry picked facts and some actual lying.

      Comey’s memos are not privileged information, you can have a chat with Trump in the Oval Office and talk about it all you want, and Comey is a private citizen.

      But Trump’s lawyers are claiming that Comey’s memos were privileged and that because the President had not authorized their release, Comey is guilt of leaking.

      LOL!

      Let’s see them quote that law/rule/statute/fairy tale chapter and verse.

      Sadly, it doesn’t matter that the lawyers are lying, because it will get into the right wing echo chamber and Comey will be branded, like a Russian hooker, a leaker, on Fox News all day long.

      And the nation will remain divided, based on lying lawyers.

      At some point you have to ask yourself who you believe, the former head of the FBI or the pussy grabbing dude with mob ties?

  3. “Clapper told the National Press Club in Canberra it was “absolutely crucial for the United States, and for that matter for the world, for this presidency, for the Republicans, for the Democrats and for our nation at large, that we get to the bottom of this”.”

    I agree with Clapper completely. At this point it is imperative we get to the bottom of it. I will be shocked if we find anything when we get there, but even if we do, we need to finish it. The problem will be, as I have said over and over, liberals will not accept anything except Trump being found guilty os something…anything. When nothing is found, liberals will continue with their accusations, rumors and innuendos against Trump as of nothing happened.

    • Nope. Naw. Negative. Trump “probably” did something wrong and I doubt it is all that complicated. The cover up, of course, is something else again.

      But think back to when Trump was the underdog in the the presidential race. He was almost consistently behind Clinton according to polls and he had no reason not to believe the polls. So he needed a little help. If he lost the election, who would follow up on the collusion? If he won, he figured he would have the power to do whatever he needed to do. He didn’t understand or take into account the workings of the federal government. He thought the presidency would be kind of like his reality show only much bigger, and he would be calling all the shots. His frustration at being able to end these investigations into the Russian collusion with his campaign is clearly evident.

      • Lisa, can you tell me what the Russians and/or Trump did?

        • No, I was not one of Trump’s close associates and didn’t attend any meetings with the Russians. I’ll have to wait for the results of Robert Mueller’s investigation just like you.

          In the interim, Trump supporters like you seem to be getting more stupid by the hour. Defending this fat f*** at this point makes you sound like you haven’t got the good sense God promised a jackass. Trump doesn’t give a damn if you live or die, bank it. He is a narcissist of the highest order.

          Have a great day, troll. 🙂

          • “In the interim, Trump supporters like you seem to be getting more stupid by the hour.”

            Really, Liza? Is it stupid to ask what you think he did? Is it stupid to ask why you are so certain he did something? You have a great deal of pure faith the something occurred, but you get very sensitive when asked for any sort of information or details as to what might have happened. Unfortunately, ad hominem attacks on those who ask these “tough” questions really doesn’t change anything; but it does indicate that you might not be as certain of Trump’s guilt as you purport to be.

            “Trump doesn’t give a damn if you live or die, bank it.”

            What President ever did care? To reach the Presidency, you have to have an ego the size of Alaska and a willingness to sacrifice anyone in pursuit of your agenda. That includes Obama, I’m afraid.

            “Have a great day, troll.”

            I know you meant that as a slam, but I choose to take it as sincere and honest good wishes and say “Thank you! And only the best to you, as well!” ;o)

          • Defending your bruh, Steve? I was replying to NidanGoju, but I replied to your comments as well.

          • Yes, I realized you were addressing both of us, so I thought I would answer, as well. Besides, I always enjoy exchanges with you. :o)

          • What I meant was I replied separately to your other comments. You probably won’t like those replies either.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Conservatives think they’re so cute, they keep saying there is no evidence Trump colluded with Russia.

        The investigation is into whether the Trump “Campaign” colluded with Russia.

        Their real problem is that the Trump family and most of their circle are dirty as hell, and the Russia investigation is dredging up all kinds of bad smells from the bottom of the swamp.

        • “The investigation is into whether the Trump “Campaign” colluded with Russia.”

          WOW! You are really clever, Tom. You realized the odds were growing every day that you were wrong about Trump being involved with the Russians, so you came up with a new story line pretending it has ALWAYS been about the campaign in general and not Trump specifically. I hope you saved some of that to fertilize your lawn with because it is pure, grade AAA B.S. You have consistently talked about Trump as being the guy who was in the know and Trump being the guy who was going to be at the end of the rainbow. You might convince some people with your newly revised story, but there will enough who remember what you wrote before that the new line won’t fly very far.

          But, then again, who really cares. It is nice to see a tacit admission on your part that Trump is probably not involved with whatever you think happened. Personally, I don’t think anything happened by anyone. But, we do need to investigate in order to try and kill this multi-headed hydra you Trump-haters have ginned up in a misguided attempt to mallign Trump.

          It is going to be interesting to see what you have to say when the dust settles and you have been proven wrong at every turn. My guess is that you will simply try and ignore it; to pretend it never happened. I don’t think you handle egg in the face very well.

          “Their real problem is that the Trump family and most of their circle are dirty as hell…”

          Are they? You often allow your opinion to pass as facts…

          “…and the Russia investigation is dredging up all kinds of bad smells from the bottom of the swamp.”

          Is it? Or is it just the lingering aromas of the bad ideas you keep coming up with? ;o)

          • Steve, Steve, darling Steve, it was always about “the campaign”. Are we to believe that his campaign was rogue and Baby Donald was kept in the dark about a foreign government (led by an extreme Hillary hater) meddling in the US presidential election on his behalf? Why?

            James Comey just now verified under oath that Russian interference in the election is a fact, a certainty, absolutely no doubt.

      • This is exactly what I am talking about, Liza. Unless Trump goes down about something, you won’t accept any investigation as legitimate. But, as I said before, I seriously doubt there is anything to be found. And I have to echo Nidangoju: Exactly what is it that Trump and the Russians are supposed to have done to give Trump the election?

        • “Exactly what is it that Trump and the Russians are supposed to have done to give Trump the election?”

          The issue is not the extent to which Russian meddling determined the outcome of the election. How could anyone possibly know that?

          The issue is the collusion (or for now, the possibility of collusion) between the Trump campaign and a foreign government that used various methods of interference to affect the outcome of a US presidential election.

          I should be clear that James Comey just testified under oath that it was the Russian government, obviously contradicting what Vlad just said to that bee-yotch from Fox News who re-invented herself on MSNBC (Megyn Kelly).

          Your denial of all of this is becoming kind of weird. But if your blissful ignorance is sincere and not just a troll tactic or a way to engage in conversation with interesting “liberals” (who can blame you?), then enjoy it. And, if it is sincere, I hope you have long term care insurance because it sounds like you might be using it soon. Nothing other than the onset of dementia could explain such denial.

          Have a great day, sweetie. 🙂

          • I should explain that in the retirement home the caregivers call everyone “sweetie”.

          • Wow! I have never seen you so, well, giddy over anything as you were the Comey interview yesterday. I wonder if we watched the same inquiry. I spent yesterday helping a Grandson with his Boy Scout Eagle Scout Community Project and was too tired to respond last night. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to condense my response to all 12 messages into a single response.

            ” Steve, Steve, darling Steve, it was always about “the campaign”.”

            It may have been to you, but to Tom, it was always about Trump.

            ” James Comey just now verified under oath that Russian interference in the election is a fact, a certainty, absolutely no doubt.”

            I never said the Russians hadn’t tried to interfere with the election. What I did say was that I never thought Trump colluded with the Russians to make that happen.

            ” But if your blissful ignorance is sincere and not just a troll tactic or a way to engage in conversation with interesting “liberals” (who can blame you?), then enjoy it.

            I can assure you, it is sincere. I would have defended Obama under the same circumstances. There are accusations being made against Trump and no evidence to back them up. I still don’t think anyone in his campaign colluded with the Russians, either, but my confidence factor is much lower on that just because there are so many of them. As to engaging in conversations with interesting liberals, you are correct, I some times have been deliberately provocative just to stir things up a little and get into some interesting exchanges. ;o)

            ” Well, James Comey just finished his public testimony and it certainly doesn’t help Trump, to say the least.

            I will agree with you, Comey’s testimony did not help Trump, but I don’t see where it hurt him much, either. Aside from calling Trump a liar constantly, and stating that Trump demanded loyalty from him – a stupid thing for Trump to do to the Director of the FBI, an organization that is supposed to remain independent – not much else surfaced. Or did I miss something? That is always a possibility.

            ” Let us just hope that Robert Mueller is as good as Comey believes him to be and the entire truth of this Russian attack on our 2016 presidential election will come to light.”

            I agree with you on this, too. I would like to see a thorough investigation to put the issue to bed. If I am proven wrong, so be it. I will be disappointed, but we can do something about it and move on. I am pretty certain I am correct, though.

            ”Aside from that, I was watching McCain interrogate Comey and I’ll just say it was worrisome.”

            I agree with you on this, too. McCain appeared very shaky and confused, and his questioning was hesitant and hard to understand. He should have retired this last go round.

            ”Why is Trump so much in favor of lifting Russian sanctions when he most assuredly knows that the Russian government meddled in our presidential election?”
            I think it is because he sees it as a good thing for our trade programs. We certainly have more in common with the Russians than we do the Chinese. Back during the Clinton Administration, we tried to buy friendship with China by transferring missile technology that gave them a technological leap of 20+ years, supposedly for their “Space Program”. Of course, they immediately applied it to their nuclear missile programs.

            ” Oh BTW, Trump groupies, this meddling is not a small issue.”

            We agree here, also. If true, it is NOT a small issue.

            ” Yes, the groupies need to put on their thinking caps and figure out why innocent Baby Donald is so friendly with and so supportive of and so backchannel-ly with a foreign government that attacked our presidential election.”

            First, it is an accusation not proved. Second, I genuinely think he sees such relations as beneficial for the United States. If the accusations prove true, I think that will change everything, but as long as the accusations are simply accusations, he would be foolish to punish Russia in advance.

            ” I should explain that in the retirement home the caregivers call everyone “sweetie”.”

            Usually, my favorite waitresses in restaurants also say that. I think it is warm and friendly greeting and I appreciate it when I encounter it. To me, it means the person is making an effort to put you at ease.

            ” Whether it worked or not or to what degree it was influential is not something that can be determined given the methods used (that we know about). It is the attack itself that matters.

            Well, we agree on this, too. You know, for a message where I was supposed to be rebutting your messages, we seem to be agreeing an awful lot. I am certain there is a message in there somewhere. ;o)

            Well, that appears to be it! I will try and not get so far behind in the future…
            In the meantime, take care!

          • I’m not as giddy as you might think. Mueller’s investigation will take a good, long while during which time Trump, Ryan, and McConnell will continue decimating as much of the progress we have made as they possibly can. They know their clock is ticking.

            The people will lose, no matter what happens. Even those people who believe that Trump is going to make America great (white) again are going to lose.

            These are dark days, make no mistake.

          • For Sure Not Tom

            Yep, Sessions and Ryan have always been the real concern, and this is going to be a long processs. The botched Watergate break in lasted less than two hours, the Watergate scandal lasted 27 months.

            The Trump campaign went on for two years. This is a very fast moving scandal but still, we’re a long way from the finish line.

            And WhiteWater started at a land deal and ended up with marital infidelity. With Twittler and his idiot kids who know’s what’s going to be dredged up.

            Meantime, I guess we’ll all have to decide who we believe, the world’s most famous liar and the team that created “alternative facts”, or Comey, Clapper, the FBI, the NSA, the CIA, and the local collection of disingenuous conservative trollbois, who change their stories and provoke just because they have nothing better to contribute to society.

            Tough choice, tough choice indeed. 🙂

          • “…the local collection of disingenuous conservative trollbois, who change their stories and provoke just because they have nothing better to contribute to society.”

            You’re funny! Claiming it is we “trollbois” who are changing our story when it is you who have decided that Trump might be untouchable and now trying to claim you were always talking about the campaign. It’s a nice, but typical, try. The problem is that even your leftist friends know the truth even if they won’t call you on it. More importantly, you and I know the truth.

            “Yep, Sessions and Ryan have always been the real concern, and this is going to be a long processs.”

            You did, indeed, call them out for what you percieved as their possible transgressions, but you did so as stand alone rants. They were not part of a campaign issue. And NEVER did you sway from the propostition that Trump was the “main concern”.

            You know, Tom, you need to accept the fact that you were, and are, wrong about Trump and the Russians, and the 2016 campaign. I know that your ego makes it tough for you to admit you were wrong, but it is a small thing and that should make it easier for you.