Ed.: 041618 – Words: 1347 – Audio: N/A
The words above, “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity”, is the motto of the FBI… and my inclusion in the title is to impose upon the reader a choice of which of the two pictured most represent the spirit of that motto.
I thought I would spin off my opinion on the James Comey interview.. the first in what’s likely to be many media interviews… this one with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos last evening. Hopefully in a few days I will have a second “Part Two” post in reference to having actually read Comey’s newly released book, “A Higher Loyalty”.
Given I have not yet read the book but I have watched the ABC interview I’ll venture into the general perceptions of Comey in this post. When I started this blog shortly after Trump assumed the presidency I presented my objections to Trump as president (HERE) as having entirely to do with the persona and demeanor of the man himself; that his behavioral drawbacks would lead to considerable alternate consequences as his maverick approach to things would be less than what we normally expect from any president. Obviously others with degrees in psych behavior analysis have gone into greater detail describing his behavioral issues. So, to the extent that my meager knowledge can apply, I thought some opinion on how Comey might react to things in general.
Many of the pundits and talking heads are spinning off opinions and assumptions and conclusions and speculations on pretty much everything Comey has said in the interview. I’ll not get into all the specifics since the news is, and will continue to be, filled with much of it. Trump himself, as expected, has denied anything Comey has said as lies… in between the typical juvenile name calling tweets.
My perception of Comey, the man, is that he is a studious individual, is very likely a process person; he tends to follow the rules.. and given his occupation, he would follow the rule of law. I get a strong sense that he is a “feeling” sort of guy. In fact, having not read his book yet I might surmise that his internal feelings will tend to be revealed. So far he’s revealed a feeling of being alone, his feelings of apprehension when going to meet Trump for dinner, his feelings of misgivings with Trump’s apparent discussion priorities and subject matter. I am guessing, from what he’s revealed in the interview, that his book will reveal a lot of feelings that will tend to be more than just simple perceptions but rather deeper personal conflictions in being tossed directly into a new environment totally outside traditional Washington political norms. After all, there was total and complete shock & awe to most of the country with Trump’s win… one can only imagine the shock & awe of those parts of government that would be staying around with the new administration… like the DOJ, FBI, etc.
One of the more revealing “events” in the Comey story was that oft played meeting with Trump where he had to walk across the room and shake hands. He described trying to blend into the window curtain across the room to avoid being recognized by Trump… then commenting about his uncomfortable look as he walked up to Trump.. and not knowing how the inevitable handshake might come about. Fear? Certainly apprehension.. but from what? Was it an uncomfortable feeling of possibly being put into an awkward situation given his previous encounters? You may recall… when Comey was walking toward the President his own hands briefly came up, meeting at his waist… almost giving an image of a solemn praying gesture… yet it wasn’t really “praying” as much as it could have been a brief defensive gesture… along with that “Oh shit” smile. Comey was wrapped in the emotion of the moment that included some fear.. not of Trump himself, but fear of what kind of position Trump might put him in.
There was also that other “thing” with Obama…
Comey said in an exclusive interview with ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos…
“He held me back after one of the very last meetings I had with him, after the election, and said he didn’t wanna talk to me about any particular case, ’cause he was very scrupulous about that. And he said, ‘But I wanna just tell you something generally. I appointed you to be FBI director because of your integrity and your ability,'” “Then he looked me in the eye and he said, ‘Nothing has happened, nothing, in the last year that has changed my view of that.”
Look, he wasn’t telling me, ‘I agree with what you did,'” Comey said of Obama. “He wasn’t telling me, ‘You made the right decision.’ He was telling me, ‘I know where it came from. I know you’re not a partisan hack. I know you’re trying to do the right thing.’ And it meant a lot to me.” Comey added.
Comey stated that was an emotional moment which likely could have been attributed equally to the departure of the President himself, the surprise of the election, and an unknown future of the country given the person who won the election… just as much as the Hillary Clinton announcement.
The point being, Comey does seem to have a certain sensitivity to his work and he was being called upon to not only follow those processes of law but also understanding that many times following processes can have ambiguous and non-intentional results; there is often not guaranteed “always right” outcomes when following process.
Has he got an ego? Yes! You do not get into these positions in D.C. politics without having an ego. Some of the largest egos have been all these executives Trump has appointed and fired. Having an ego is NOT a bad thing unless it’s your entire focus and obsession. I would venture to suggest that all us bloggers have egos; we ALL think someone else wants to read what we write and we all think what we write should be carved in granite for homage from future generations. Ego helps to provide personal drive and it is measured by the acknowledgment and respect one might garner from others. Trump himself has a HUGE ego.. with him it’s insatiable but it’s self-consuming.
Here’s the whole point I can see thus far in all of this. Anyone can slice, dice, and dissect everything Comey says or has written… people will call him a liar, say he was crooked, accuse him and the FBI of being simply an extension of some Deep State… and that could come from either side, Republican Trump supporters and/or Democrat Hillary supporters. I perceive him as being an honorable and honest man who was just “lucky” enough to have had fate toss him into the political mix that is “now”. Of course I assign a measure of Hillary’s defeat to his 10 day announcement of re-opening the investigation. But do I think he had some grandiose personal agenda? Of course not. Do I think what he’s revealed in his book simply a bunch of anti-Trump lies and deceit?
Well, I tell ya this much… when you compare the performance of both the guys pictured above all I know is what I know… and Trump’s lies, deceit, and performance could never match up to Comey’s honesty, integrity, and simply being just a decent human being. If Comey gets rich from his book.. more power to him. He deserves something from his service to this country given the way he was fired. I personally feel he wrote this book for a few reasons. It was a kind of a personal memoir, maybe a bit of historical preservation of events, maybe a bit of imparting some wisdom about leadership. But I think the greater reason was an expose’ and a warning to the country about Trump.
I will read the book and follow up.