I wonder if it matches our pain?
Courtesy of The Guardian:
Are there times, in the dead of night, just after Donald Trump has appalled the world with some newly horrific act, when James Comey is gripped by the dreaded thought: It was me who put that man in power?
The answer Comey gives is unexpectedly swift and direct. “Yes, actually. Mostly because people say that to me all the time. So I hear that quite a bit.” And what does he do with that thought? “It’s very painful. And I sometimes wonder, if I could go back in time, would I do something deeply unprincipled? I wouldn’t. All it does is make it painful, [because] I think Donald Trump is doing – and will do – great damage to my country. But that just adds to the pain.”
Even after all of this time, Comey cannot simply admit that he caved to pressure from pro-Trump FBI agents and media pressure and made a careless and ultimately devastating choice.
But at least he is finally accepting that he very likely swayed the outcome of the election. I guess that’s something.
There was more in their interview that I found enlightening.
For instance Comey’s take on the text messages between the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page:
How did he react to the inspector general’s discovery that two FBI agents were texting each other about the campaign, one reassuring the other not to worry about a Trump victory because “We’ll stop it”?
Comey says he was “stunned when I heard that stuff”. He had no idea the two agents involved were talking that way, or that they were in a relationship with each other. Had he known, he says he would have removed them immediately from their role in “any sensitive investigation”.
He is puzzled, he adds, because the agent who wrote “We’ll stop it” also helped Comey draft the October disclosure statement that damaged Clinton so badly. “If he was in Hillary Clinton’s camp, why was he doing that? This is the thing that the Trump people have trouble explaining. If the FBI was a Clinton tool, why didn’t we disclose the Russia investigation?”
And that is an excellent point.
If, as Trump suggests, the FBI was secretly working to get Hillary elected why did they keep the investigation about the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia secret while using a bullhorn to announce every twist and turn of the bullshit Clinton email investigation?
To close the interview the reporter suggests that if he were Comey he would spend all of his waking hours looking for evidence that he was not responsible for Donald Trump.
To that Comey says that his wife has taken on that task instead:
“I was just trying to block it out at the time. I think I felt a certain sense of numbness. Since then, I’ve actually delegated all that to my wife – she was a strong Hillary Clinton supporter – because she’s very keen to find evidence that it wasn’t me. She would very much like to find some definitive study that it wasn’t me.”
And has she found it?
There is probably no public figure that I have more mixed feelings about than James Comey.
But I will say that it seems clear to me that he is a man shouldering a great deal of guilt.
And it is quite likely that despite his protestations he deserves every ounce.