One Post-Comey Assessment: 'Our President Is a Liar'

Pundits weigh in on FBI chief's testimony on Trump
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2017 9:21 AM CDT
One Post-Comey Assessment: 'This Is Not Going Away'
FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FBI chief James Comey's testimony on Capitol Hill is not surprisingly a major topic on the opinion pages Tuesday, and David Leonhardt's piece in the New York Times is one of those drawing attention. It begins, "The ninth week of Donald Trump’s presidency began with the F.B.I. director calling him a liar," and doesn't let up. "Our president is a liar," writes Leonhardt, who ticks off a list of topics he says Trump has lied about, including "Obama’s birthplace, John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Sept. 11, the Iraq War, ISIS, NATO, military veterans, Mexican immigrants, Muslim immigrants," and his list goes on. On Russia, then, Leonhardt says don't bother listening to what the president or his aides say, because they're going to lie. Just hope Comey or Congress (Leonhardt says the onus here will fall on Senate Republicans) can uncover the truth. Read the piece in full here.

Other takes on the testimony:

  • Wall Street Journal: Comey didn't actually say much, other than handing Democrats "the headline they wanted," says an editorial. Yes, Trump overstated his wiretapping claims, but somebody leaked details of Michael Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador, and Flynn deflected questions on that. The intel committee should be prepared to declassify more information than usual because "the public needs to know if there was political canoodling with a foreign government and whether the Obama Administration used cloak-and-dagger methods for partisan purposes." Read it here.
  • Washington Post: The editorial board roasts House Republicans for trying to shift the story to be about leaks and "slavishly following the cues of the president" in trying to deflect attention. Read it here.
  • Politico: "Comey’s admission of an ongoing counterintelligence investigation, with no endpoint in sight, is a big deal," it quotes historian Timothy Naftali as saying. "This is not going away." The story on how the investigation could "dog" Trump's presidency is here.
  • New Yorker: "Despite his reticence, Comey said more than enough to transfix the political world, and to leave many Republicans feeling as helpless as supporters of Hillary Clinton felt in October, when Comey revealed that the F.B.I. had reopened its investigation into Clinton’s private e-mail server," writes John Cassidy. Read it here.
  • House intel chairman Devin Nunes told Comey that he had put "a big gray cloud" over the White House, and you can bet on the cloud lasting "at least for months, maybe longer," says a post at Axios.
(More James Comey stories.)

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