I have been intrigued by this Trump/Comey whisper shot every time it has appeared in social and news media. When I saw it a couple of nights ago as the lead photo in The Forbes.com article, Hidden Clues In The Trump-Comey Drama: It’s Worse Than You Think by Melik Kaylan, I had to read the article despite my vow not to read political news at bedtime. It kept me up, no doubt about it.
The photo was taken in the oval office on January 22, 2017. (Storyboard below of Live Satellite News’ YouTube video of the occasion: President Trump Thanks FBI James Comey for well timed Clinton Emails.
The video begins with President Trump at one end of the room, standing on the gold border of the oval office rug with Vice President Pence and various others—several of whom are military brass.
Across the room at the other end is FBI Director James Comey, standing tall in a line of a dozen or so men. Trump says, referring to Comey, “Where is, uh… oh, there he is, calls him over and says ‘He’s become more famous than me” (laughter). Comey straightens up, puts a pleasant demeanor on his face, walks across the room, and with a deferent smile, shakes hands with the president. Trump pulls him close and whispers something to him…but what? Applause rises from the assembled while Mr. Comey steps back, shakes hands with Mr. Pence and proffers a proper “Thank you.”
What did Trump whisper to Comey? We don’t know, but the shot has become emblematic of deception and wrongdoing since the abrupt firing of Director James Comey on May 9, 2017, while he was in Los Angeles addressing a group of FBI agents. James Comey hadn’t been informed. The termination was public—displayed on TV monitors throughout the room. That’s how he learned of his termination.
The majority of America was in shock, regardless of the election approval or disapproval rating he carried. Two days after this callously unorthodox firing NBC’s Lester Holt interviews Mr. Trump. In reference to Sessions’ and Rosenstein’s letter of recommending termination:
Trump: “What I did was, I was going to fire Comey. My decision.”
Holt: “Because your letter, you said, “I— accepted their recommendation,” so you had already made the decision.”
Trump: “Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.“
Add to that the title of the Forbes piece: Hidden Clues In The Trump-Comey Drama… and this admission makes the photo even more enticingly emblematic.
Some excerpts from Hidden Clues In The Trump-Comey Drama:
“Comey was meant to function as the perfect temp: mortally wounded from his late-campaign move against Hillary, and his even later exoneration of her, he hung on by a thread. The Trumpsters merely left him in place twisting in the wind to see which way he would twist. He’d be a fool to cross them. Politically friendless, isolated, a virtual pariah whichever side he took, he looked ideally suited for the role of staying on and toeing the line. Trump was his last refuge, so they thought. Apparently, Comey couldn’t bring himself to swallow that calculus. He continued to push the KremlinGate probe.”
“The Trumpsters expected Comey to temporize, keep making contradictory noises, pursue Hillary on this and Obama on that, while intermittently letting steam out of the Russia matter. They gave him some leads. Example: Jason Chaffetz’s allegations that Obama’s people ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower. But Comey wouldn’t play along. And finally he nudged them to act.”
“Several signposts indicate the lineaments of a crafted process. How do populists gradually take over? They exclude and arrest journalists – already happening. They create beholden oligarchs…. They create incessant noise and fog.”
“In short, Trump is getting expert guidance. One can continue disbelieving one’s eyes because the whole notion seems so preposterous….Trump receives Lavrov publicly at the height of the outcry, the two of them laughing, backslapping, making a lurid display of triumph. Classic Putinist Theater.”
“The audacious scenario may yet be foiled. The American system is likely too transparent and too sensitive to public oversight. But just because such a plot might be foiled doesn’t mean it’s not happening.”
We cannot look to leaders—a new Moses to lead us out of this turmoil. Every leader has feet of clay. Democracy is all about We, the People. Even those of us who have no love for politics must coalesce and work together to resist, insist, and take back our country.
Make your voice heard in the 2018 congressional elections: Vote.