Full disclosure: I set out this week to write a column about how President Donald Trump’s team needs to change the password on his Twitter account, confiscate his mobile devices and throw them in the Potomac. The already social-media-obsessed Trump had ramped up the tweet-storming since the latest Islamic terrorist attack hit the United Kingdom, even singling out London’s Islamofascist-sympathizing mayor, Sadiq Khan. And while Trump’s points on the ever-deepening threat Islamofascism presents to humanity were well made, engaging a bush-league globalist like Khan seemed like playing down to a lower level. The president, I reasoned, should be above social media sniping. Besides, he’s kinda busy.
Then, The Washington Post’s Robert Costa claimed multiple White House sources told him Trump was planning to live-tweet as former FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to Costa, Trump “does not plan to put down Twitter on Thursday. May live tweet if he feels the need to respond.” Moreover, the already circus-like atmosphere around Comey’s approaching side show was attracting all the wrong attention. On Wednesday, Reuters reported “U.S. bars are offering $5 Russian vodka drinks, “impeachmint” cocktails and free drinks with every presidential tweet to draw crowds on Thursday to watch fired FBI Director James Comey’s televised testimony to Congress.”
The president was planning to publicly vent his spleen, 140 characters at a time, while people turned his high dudgeon into a drinking game. The commander in chief would be presiding over the crapfest like Bob Barker over a terrible episode of The Price is Right. “We’re within shooting range of becoming a complete ‘idiocracy,’” I thought.
I was wrong. Wednesday afternoon an advance copy of Comey’s planned opening statement hit the media, and it came as close to vindicating Trump as anything not involving an open letter of apology printed in The Wall Street Journal. Unless he’s planning to unleash a surprise bigger than a conservative not named Clint Eastwood winning an Oscar, by the time you read this the Democrats will have gone back to hating Comey again. The wheezing “Trump-Russia-electoral interference” narrative will be joining “Hillary 2016” in the political grave. In the seven page preamble, Comey openly admits to telling the president he was never the subject of any Russia-centric investigation. In fact, the most damning assertion contained therein involves Comey claiming Trump “privately” tried to develop a “patronage relationship” with the former FBI honcho; a claim Comey based on his “instinct.” While that may qualify as weird — no doubt it did to a self-admitted introvert like Comey — it’s farther from impeachment than Hillary Clinton is from the White House.
Comey’s tease arrived mere moments after Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers fired their own torpedoes at the Trump-Russia narrative’s broadside. Both men told the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump had not pressured them to dial back the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election; a point Coats drove home with authority. “In my time of service … I have never been pressured, I have never felt pressure, to intervene or interfere in any way, with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation…” Add to that the fact that Comey himself has acknowledged that Trump actually encouraged him to continue his investigation, in the event any of Trump’s people might be bent, and Trump appears to have not only weathered another storm, but come out nothing more than a little damp.
While everyone — including yours truly — focused on his apparently inane public noisemaking, Trump — who obviously knew he was in the clear — simply let the opposition stroll into a blunder which terminated one of their top talking points with extreme prejudice. In the world of game theory, Trump proved once again he is a master. While the Democrats trot out losing strategies, Trump’s already playing winners two games ahead. As this week draws to a close, I once again find myself admitting it: President Donald Trump is flat killing it. Not only is he doing a surprisingly solid job with the less-than glamorous aspects of the gig — a fact borne out by an uptick in nearly every economic sector, from standard jobs to Standard and Poor’s — he’s laying waste to the Democratic Party’s obstruction efforts like Michael Moore at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Wile. E. Coyote had a better time of it against the Roadrunner than the Left has had chasing Trump.
— Ben Crystal