By Erick Erickson
Mike Flynn gave it so the President inquired as to whether the FBI could go elsewhere. The FBI did not. The investigation is ongoing. From James Comey’s own mouth we know the Flynn investigation was not even central to Russia. In fact, we know from Comey that President Trump told him to pursue the Russian investigation, thus ending a Democrat talking point.
But we also know James Comey thinks President Trump is a liar and we also know President Trump lies regularly. President Trump will contradict himself within two clauses of a single sentence and demand you believe both mutually contradictory things. That matters now more than ever because the President says he never asked Comey to shut down the Flynn investigation and Comey says he did.
Who are you going to believe? The partisan left will believe Comey. The partisan GOP will believe Trump. The rest of the country? A large portion do not even care, but the President only won because he convinced 70,000 people in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that he was not as bad as Clinton.
What do they now think? Polling suggests it is not the President they will believe and we should all remind ourselves that polling in 2016 was actually pretty good. Clinton did win the popular vote, as the polls said she would.
The President is a liar who routinely lies and more and more people are choosing not to believe him.
Of course, the President’s greatest weapon against this is the press itself. Because as much as the President lies, so too does the press. In fact, the press has retracted and corrected so many stories about the President and the various angles of scandal that many people trust the press less than the President. Just the other day members of the press claimed Comey would dispute the claims about the President being under investigation, but Comey actually agreed that the President is not under investigation.
But the result of this is that the public will latch on to Comey as the honest broker. He threw Loretta Lynch under the bus in the hearing and Democrats are now objecting to that. He threw the President under the bus and Republicans are objecting to that. Comey masterfully made himself look like the only honest man in the room, which some will see as him actually being the one liar in the room. That both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate committee treated him with great deference will mean a lot to the inquiring voters trying to decide what is going on. If there are at least 70,001 of those, the President is in trouble.
We’re dealing with a President who routinely lies, is disliked by more than half the population, and who has a growing number of his own party privately grumbling about 2018. While this is going on Democrats appear on the verge of picking up Newt Gingrich’s congressional district in Georgia — something that hasn’t happened since the seventies.
Here’s the cliff notes version of this story: it does not end well for the GOP.