Comey: Trump unfazed by Russian meddling

In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, former FBI Director James Comey said he was shocked by the questions President Trump did not ask during a conversation about possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 5:13 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 5:13 AM

It's been a truly hellish week for the Trump presidency. The week began with an unprecedented FBI raid the on the office, home and hotel room of the President's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to execute a search warrant seeking incriminating documents.

It ended in verbal and Twitter fisticuffs between the President and former FBI Director James Comey, who revealed-- among other things -- new details about the President's alleged reaction when Comey advised him of a Russian claim that Trump had engaged in a romp with Russian prostitutes. The tweeting fisticuffs were about a lot more than just the "golden showers" allegation.

Comey is on a tour pushing his new book, "A Higher Loyalty." In between all this, the doorman at a Trump building made some startling revelations, and the President pondered a missile attack on Syria.

The highlight of this Trumpian scandal festival for a while appeared to be the allegations that the doorman who worked at New York's Trump World Tower had been paid $30,000 by the National Enquirer's parent company AMI to refrain from "criticizing President Trump's former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump which produced a child."

In Trumpworld, the normal solution to this problem would be to dispatch Michael Cohen to remind the doorman that he was likely to face punishing legal and financial consequences should he suggest that the President had fathered an illegitimate child with his housekeeper.

Cohen would be the logical choice for the doorman job, just as he was for the Stormy Daniels job. It is the same reason that Cohen was a completely logical target for closer scrutiny by the FBI.

Cohen was widely known as Trump's "pitbull" and "fixer," with a history of bare-knuckled threats to inflict catastrophic legal damages on anyone seeking to harm Trump's reputation.

One can only imagine what may be hidden in the Cohen treasure trove of documents relating to the job of batting cleanup for Trump's scandal-ridden past.

Whatever Cohen has accumulated, it is now being examined by FBI agents and federal prosecutors for evidence of criminality.

Cohen now has his own problems to worry about and is reportedly musing about the possibility of asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if questioned by law enforcement authorities -- or by attorney Michael Avenatti in the California civil suits now swirling around him and the President.

Cohen's attorney sought a "stay" in the California lawsuit pertaining to adult film star Stormy Daniels, citing Fifth Amendment concerns.

Cohen clearly does not want to be making statements under oath or on the record in court while the FBI examines his records.

The raid undoubtedly caused the President to appear completely distraught and off-balance as he mused during an unscripted press appearance on Monday about firing both Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller.

What was particularly unnerving to those watching Trump this week were his rants about Rosenstein, Mueller and the Russia investigation, interspersed with talk about letting the "missiles" fly at Syria.

Americans like to think of their President as ordering military strikes in a calm, rational and detached manner, not in the midst of an emotional meltdown about law enforcement authorities investigating his administration and his personal lawyer -- or for that matter, rumors of an illegitimate child.

The President himself has been described as a "subject" of the investigation, nomenclature denoting a person who is perilously close to being the "target" of the investigation.

Sandwiched between the law office raid and the doorman allegations, the subject of Mr. Trump and "golden showers" jumped into the headlines with the publication of excerpts from the soon-to-be-released book written by the FBI director he fired, James Comey.

The book, "A Higher Loyalty," apparently contains descriptions of the President's alleged insistence on obtaining a loyalty pledge from Comey, and Trump's repeated request that Comey make a determined effort to disprove the uncorroborated "golden showers" descriptions of Trump's alleged sexual activity with Russian prostitutes, which appeared in the controversial "Steele Dossier."

The strange thing is that the nation has now been so scandal-scarred by Trump's inappropriate behavior that news of an out-of-wedlock child, even if true, would hardly make a dent in his already shattered reputation for character and integrity.

He has probably already reached the point of being "libel-proof," a rare condition in the law of defamation which holds that some people have such poor and tarnished reputations that even the publication of false statements cannot bring them any lower.

Proof of this is that the story of the illegitimate child -- whether true or not --barely registered on the public's consciousness.

In a really bad week for everyone connected to Trumpworld, only one person looks to be in reasonably good shape: the doorman.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604758

Reported Deaths: 7648
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1250271781
Ramsey52525898
Dakota46864471
Anoka42797458
Washington27437291
Stearns22563225
St. Louis18145314
Scott17554138
Wright16385149
Olmsted13406102
Sherburne1202895
Carver1067648
Clay826592
Rice8207110
Blue Earth762944
Crow Wing681995
Kandiyohi668485
Chisago620752
Otter Tail586484
Benton583098
Goodhue484074
Douglas475881
Mower470533
Winona461452
Itasca460263
Isanti440364
McLeod431261
Morrison424862
Beltrami408062
Nobles407850
Steele397817
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363953
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown308040
Le Sueur297426
Cass286532
Todd285733
Meeker263643
Waseca238023
Martin235333
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182846
Redwood176639
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163423
Fillmore157610
Faribault155319
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146710
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine115020
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95618
Stevens92511
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned47793
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371318

Reported Deaths: 6059
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58281641
Linn21248339
Scott20311248
Black Hawk16200312
Woodbury15240230
Johnson1462685
Dubuque13517211
Dallas1129399
Pottawattamie11233174
Story1071948
Warren584091
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554297
Sioux517774
Webster516594
Muscatine4883106
Marshall488076
Des Moines468172
Wapello4340122
Buena Vista427140
Jasper421273
Plymouth403281
Lee382557
Marion366176
Jones301157
Henry294937
Bremer288861
Carroll287052
Boone268534
Crawford268440
Benton260455
Washington257251
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212371
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198935
Page194522
Buchanan194233
Cedar192323
Hardin187444
Fayette187143
Wright186140
Hamilton182051
Harrison180073
Clayton171257
Butler166535
Madison164619
Mills163924
Floyd163542
Cherokee159438
Lyon159241
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149924
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138813
Grundy137533
Emmet135741
Jefferson133435
Shelby131837
Sac130920
Union130135
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126743
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113523
Howard105122
Montgomery103638
Clarke101124
Keokuk97032
Monroe96431
Unassigned9570
Ida91635
Adair87532
Pocahontas85822
Davis85325
Monona83631
Osceola78917
Greene78111
Lucas77923
Worth7628
Taylor66812
Fremont6279
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56418
Wayne54423
Audubon53411
Adams3454
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